How Long Does It Take For The Swelling And Bruising To Go Way After A Facelift?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a facelift just one week ago. I expected to be a little swollen and bruised but not like this. I was told before surgery that I could return to work two weeks after the surgery. I was also told that by that time I would not be completely healed but that no one will notice that I would have had surgery. Based on the way I look now, I can’t see how this will be true in just another week. I am a bit panicky now because I can’t go to work remotely looking like this. I’d have to quit my job if I went in looking like the monster that I do now. Any suggestions or advice on how to make this swelling and bruising go away faster?

A: The amount of swelling and bruising after a facelift that any patient gets will vary and is most affected by the type of facelift that one has. Unless it is a very limited type, I would never tell a patient that they will comfortably be able to go back to work in just two weeks. Three weeks after a more complete facelift is more realistic. That is now water under the bridge so to speak so what can you do now? Largely the  speed of the improvement you are going to get is by your won natural healing process. But the use of Arnica tablets and topical gel for the bruising, don’t sleep completely flat (head up) and taking some bromelain (for swelling) may be of help. You may also be surprised what another week of recovery will do. I suspect you will be much better by next week and with a little makeup you will be largely ‘undetected’ for having a facelift.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana