My 10 Commandments for a “Glam” Recovery after Facelift

facelift toronto, toronto plastic surgery, recovery after facelift


Over my 15 years of experience in Toronto, I have categorized recovery from plastic surgery into 3 types, and the 3 are often overlapping: the functional part, the pain & discomfort part and the “social” part.

The functional part is important for my body surgeries such as tummy tuck, buttock, pectoral and calf implants, liposuction, breast augmentation, etc.  As far as facelift procedures are concerned, the functional part is a very small component of the recovery as patients quickly ambulate, talk and eat.  Pain is also very minimal with most facial procedures, including a complete rhinoplasty where nasal bones are being manipulated, moved and reset in the desired position.

The most limiting in facelift and necklift procedures is the “social recovery”.  Bruising, swelling, incisions, drains, garment, stitches… are all present in the first days post-surgery.  Those facial “social inhibitors” will vary depending on the extent of the facelift techniques.  The mini-facelift has a small amount of recovery but the benefits are shorter and lesser, yet, it might be the right decision for some patients.  For most, a more thorough and comprehensive facelift technique is required, including a 2-layer lift, the so-called SMAS facelift, a full repair of the neck as described in my previous blog To Open or Not To Open, neck liposuction, perhaps microfat grafting in patients requiring on-going fillers, laser resurfacing for peri-oral wrinkles (smoker’s lines), temporal extension, eyelid lift, chin implant, etc. By far, the fat grafting and full laser resurfacing are the 2 adjunct procedures, although powerful for rejuvenation, that will lengthen the recovery the most.

“A well performed comprehensive facelift will have great rejuvenating powers and will last for a very long time.  And it will look natural”

Dr. DuPéré

On average, recovery after a comprehensive facelift can last between 2 and 4 weeks, 4 weeks being mostly for the facelifts done with microfat grafting for volume replacement. Garment is worn for about a week.  I like to use very small drains for one night to minimize swelling and bruising and to shorten the recovery.  Most bruises have turned to green by 7 days and yellow by 10-14 days, after which, most ecchymoses (bruises) can be covered with make-up.

The mini-facelift, which consists mostly of minimal undermining, short scar and skin-only lift, will have a much shorter recovery, often without bruising.  Stitches are often internal and the few external ones can be removed 7 days post-surgery.  That being said, the results of mini-lifting procedures are less drastic and will be shorter in duration.

The good news is that the tenderness is minimal with all facelifts and necklifts, so my patients rarely need analgesics for more than 1-2 days.

Here are my 10 commandments for a healthy and smooth recovery:

1. Healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, avoidance of sunshine, sunscreen, good protein intake, avoidance of cigarettes

2. Quiet environment: you can recover at home if it is a quiet environment, otherwise a cottage, country house, etc; this may require having grand-parents taking care of the kids for a few days

3. Many patients find oral naturopathic bromelain and arnica to be of help in facilitating and speeding up recovery; iron replacement is often recommended too

4. A good protein intake (and low fat) is important for the healing

5. Avoidance of nicotine, ephedrine and other vaso-constrictive drugs (eg. many street drugs), especially with a facelift, breast lift, open rhinoplasty and tummy tuck.

6. Lymphatic drainage of the lower face and neck is also encouraged post facelift and our technician will see my patients weekly for this treatment.

7. Get all your prescription medications a few days pre-surgery

8. Prepare the room where you will be recovering; prepare your iPad with movies, magazine, and the books you would like to read and your iPod with some good happy, uplifting and relaxing music

9. Prepare comfortable clothes for the visit at the surgical centre and for the recovery period: consider pull-over versus button type of shirt, no shoe lace if possible to avoid having to bend over, easy-to-wash clothes in case they get soiled during the recovery, etc.

10. Finally, be optimistic, and keep in mind that in a few weeks, you will have regained the face – or body – you once had.


Dr. Marc DuPéré, aesthetic plastic surgeon

2 Responses to My 10 Commandments for a “Glam” Recovery after Facelift

  1. Trevor Fair says:

    I am interested in the price and availability of a necklift and pec implant placement. I am a 54 year old healthy male. I recently lost 65lbs and have kept it off for 6 months so far.

    • Dr. Marc DuPéré says:

      Hi Trevor,
      It is very hard to give you prices without having seen you. There are different techniques of neck lift based on what I see in consultation. But I will email you some details and some ranges. I am a more specific cost for pectoral implants which I will also include. I look forward to meeting you! Dr. DuPere

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