What to Expect After Your Facelift Surgery, Day by Day


You’re ready to embrace a younger look through facelift surgery but are curious about recovery.  The good news is since you’ve chosen Dr. Machida as your facelift surgeon, your recovery is going to progress rapidly. Dr. Machida’s advanced techniques slash the recovery times for his procedures down to just 7-10 days for many of his patients. You’ll be back on your feet and looking younger than ever just a couple of weeks after your procedure. 

Here’s what you can expect every day during your facelift recovery in Inland Empire, CA. 

Facelift Recovery- Week 1

Week 1 is the most intense week during the recovery period. This is one week you’ll need to take off from work for sure. 

  • Day 1 (Surgery Day)- Dr. Machida performs facelift surgery using advanced techniques and local anesthesia, so patients are out of the operating room and ready to return home much sooner than after a traditional facelift. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for the first couple of days. Day 1, you’ll want to stay on top of pain medication, taking the first dose before the surgical anesthetic wears off, and continuing with doses as prescribed.  
  • Day 2- Our patients return to see Dr. Machida the day after surgery. You’ll need someone to drive you to and from our office. We’ll take a peek at your incisions, change dressings as needed, and answer any questions you may have about the recovery process. Your face will be tender, bruised, and swollen. Continue to rest and use pain medications as needed. 
  • Day 3- By Day 3, many patients are starting to feel better. You’ll still need rest, but you may feel ready for a gentle walk and some time out of bed. Some patients no longer need prescription pain medication, but if you do, you can continue to use it.
  • Day 4- Swelling and bruising reach their peak around Day 4. These side effects will stick around for a few more weeks but should begin to slowly fade. Over-the-counter pain medications are often sufficient for pain management. If they aren’t yet, they will be in the next couple of days. Keep walking as it is helpful for your circulation. As you feel able, you can resume many daily tasks. Take a nap if you need it as your body does still needs extra rest. 
  • Days 5,6, and 7- By Day 5, you’ll be able to resume many daily tasks. Take it slowly and add new activities gradually. Most patients are no longer needing prescription pain medication. We’ll meet with you at our office again sometime during the first week to remove stitches, change bandaging, and check healing progress. 

Facelift Recovery- Week 2

Our facelift patients heal quickly due to Dr. Machida’s specialized techniques. Most patients will return to work sometime during Week 2. 

You’ll still have bruising, swelling, tenderness, and redness. Some patients report numbness or tingling in the face. These sensations are normal and should fade as recovery progresses. 

While you can resume many activities, you will need to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for a couple more weeks. Continue to elevate your head when sleeping. 

Facelift Recovery- Week 3

Patients feel great by Week 3 and look pretty good too. You’ll start to notice your new facial contours and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what your results will look like. 

Facelift Recovery- Week 4 

It’s party week! By Week 4, you’re social event ready. Most patients are healed enough that they can head out in public without any questions. Your incision sites may be a bit pink and you’ll likely have some swelling or bruising, but these are easily covered with makeup. 

Long-Term Recovery After Facelift Surgery 

It can take several months for swelling to fully resolve after facelift surgery, but you’ll look so good, you won’t even notice. As the recovery process continues, we’ll be there supporting you every step of the way. Here are some recovery highlights to look forward to. 

  • 6 Weeks After Facelift- Patients can safely swim and enjoy hot tubs
  • 6-8 Weeks After Facelift- Return to exercise and strenuous activities
  • 1 Year After Facelift Surgery- All swelling usually resolves within a year. The skin will continue to experience changes in sensation for the first several months to one year. 

Call us to schedule your facelift consultation in Inland Empire, CA.