MACS Facelift Recovery Time – Reviews Of Surgeons
The recovery from MACS face lift varies. I always tell patients to plan on at least 2 wks. At least. The variables involved are many!
I will list the most common below as they can all add or subtract recovery days and you may be able to assist in speeding up the recovery process.
Variables: patient response to the trauma of surgery, if general anesthesia is used or tumescent/local, the levels of the lift and combination procedures (platysmaplasty? blepharoplasty? fat grafting?), swelling, infection or any complications that can arise, patient diet (I prefer a low salt (less than 1500mg high protein (50 grams) content post operative).
There are other variables that you should discuss with your surgeon as we all have our own “tricks” to minimize recovery times while maximizing results. (Benjamin Caughlin, MD, Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon)
This is quite individual depending on your own characteristics and the type and extent of the life performed. We do a deep plane lift which is long lasting and involves strengthening the muscular layers and foundation for the face.
Our “medical recovery” – sutures out and most of postoperative care done- is about 7 to 10 days. The “social recovery” – bruising and swelling – lasts about a week or two more in most cases.
Down-time following MACS facelift
I perform facelift as day surgery. Patients go home with drains on each side which come out behind the ears.
There are stitches in front of the ear – there may also be stitches behind the ears, staples in the scalp and stitches underneath the chin depending on what needs to be done.
No two faces or facelifts are the same. Patients go home with a chin-strap binder which provides support to the upper neck and some mild compression on the cheeks. Patients are given tablet antibiotics and pain killers.
I ask them to apply ordinary vaseline to the stitches and to take it easy. The stitches in front of the ear come out after one week (and the ones under the chin, if present).
The staples in the scalp come out at two weeks. I advise my patients to plan for 2 to 3 weeks downtime following a MACS facelift – closer to 2 weeks for a short scar facelift (where the cut doesn’t go up behind the ear and not too much work is done on the neck) and closer to 3 weeks when the whole face and neck have been lifted (this usually involved a cut under the chin as well).
The limiting factor is swelling and bruising. Although my patients are able to wash their hair the day after surgery although I do like them to wear a chin-strap garment day and night for the first week, then only at night after that. (Damian Marucci, MBBS, PhD, FRACS, Sydney Plastic Surgeon)
Secondly, a person’s willingness to go out with some bruising or swelling is also critical in this discussion. Just don’t plan any major events immediately after surgery. (Ronald A. Lohner, MD, Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon)
Often within two weeks
This often depends on how much you need to have done to achieve the results you are looking for. If you only need a MACS facelift sometimes you can get back in the public eye in a week.
The more you have done the longer the recovery. (Scott Tucker, MD, Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon)
10 days-two weeks
One of my professors once said that you’ll be able to be seen by your friends in one week and your enemies in two weeks. By that I mean that the swelling and bruising will still be there at one week but by two weeks should be pretty much gone.
The big concern with facelifts is developing a hematoma or collection of blood under the skin. This is usually obvious within 24 hours and can be triggered by postoperative nausea and vomiting. If this happens the healing may take longer.
It’s very uncommon. Out of over 100 facelifts that I performed this year, I’ve only seen three hematoma and they were all less than an ounce and were drained the next morning. (Joseph M. Perlman, MD, Houston Plastic Surgeon)
If you are undergoing a comprehensive MACS facelift, i.e. one that is going to give you a natural appearing result that will last a long time, then you will have to plan for the recovery.
The advice I give to my patients is to not plan any social engagements for 3-weeks after surgery. Of course, if you feel well enough to go out beforehand, by all means do. However, I would never want anyone to feel committed to a diary date unless they are ready to do so.
Healing after a facelift
Many individuals wonder how long it will take to recover after a MACS facelift. Typically, drains (if they are used) and dressings will be removed within the first 1-2 days after surgery; and most sutures will all be out within one week.
I usually advise my patients that it will take 1-2 weeks for the bruising and swelling to go down. You will notice a big decrease in swelling during that time, and then a more subtle decrease and relaxing of the “tightness” that you may feel over the next 6-8 weeks.
We typically recommend rest and elevation for the first two weeks. We commonly utilize a arnica, bromelein, and steroids during the early postoperative course to minimize bruising.
Part of our two week visit is a mineral makeup session with our aesthetician to teach our patients how to safely camouflage their scars and any remaining bruising.
By this point, they can present themselves in public with makeup. We usually find that by 6 weeks, our patients no longer require any makeup or concealer. (Paul S. Gill, MD, Houston Plastic Surgeon)
The amount of recovery time after a facelift depends on the type of facelift/necklift being performed.. there are several techniques, and thus, variations in recovery time.. (Samuel Lin, MD, FACS, Boston Plastic Surgeon)
More contemporary techniques such as smaller incision and avoiding the use of drains may result in a shorter downtime. There is really no way to predict what your exact downtime will look like but you can optimize your healing by following your surgeon’s post-operative care.
I like to provide my patients with assistance in camouflage makeup techniques so they conceal any residual bruising from surgery. It is important to dialogue with your surgeon about your concerns at your initial consult to ensure that you understand what to expect. (Vu Ho, MD, Plano Facial Plastic Surgeon)
Most Patients Back to Work in 2 Weeks
I get a lot of questions about recovery following MACS facelift surgery at my practice. Patients heal at their own pace, but I know that taking time off work may be the single biggest concern among people considering a facelift.
Although the nature of your job, your age, and your medical history are all factors that influence when you can return to work, I’d say 2 weeks is a good estimate, particularly if your job is not physically strenuous.
You may have some residual bruising and swelling, but most people feel comfortable enough about their appearance to get back to their jobs at this point, especially if they use makeup and style their hair to camouflage incision sites. (Thomas McNemar, MD, FACS, Stockton Plastic Surgeon)
Anticipate 2 Weeks at Home After Facelift
Generally speaking, I’ve found that most of my patients feel comfortable going back to work and other social events after about 2 weeks. By this time, their sutures have been removed and they no longer need to wear compression garments.
Although some swelling and bruising may still visible at this point, it’s minimal. Any discolouration can be covered with makeup. That being said, I will commonly add fat grafting and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) to my facelift procedures in order to replenish the lost facial volume seen with aging; when doing so, it may add one more week of recovery. (Marc DuPéré, MD, Toronto Plastic Surgeon)
As long as your job requires no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise you should be able to return to work in 1 week to 9 days. Following your post operative instructions is very important and can really make a difference in how you heal. (Nicole Schrader, MD, FACS, Princeton Facial Plastic Surgeon)
Depending on the procedure From1 to 3 weeks. The more extensive the procedure the longer the recovery. Also thinner patients tend to resolve issues with swelling sooner than patients with abundant facial fat. (Joseph L. Kiener, MD, FACS, Reno Plastic Surgeon)
I typically tell my patients a week at home is best to avoid being seen with sutures, drains, or bruising that could be tell tale signs of a MACS facelift. Waiting at least 3-6 months before a big event where photography may be taken without concern. (Sergio Alvarez, MD, Doral Plastic Surgeon)
Thinking about a MACS facelift, but concerned about taking time off work. When can I go in public without looking like a freak (or li
I tell patients that the recovery period for a MACS facelift is broken down into two separate periods. The first is how long before the swelling resolves and incisions will heal. This typically takes 4-6 weeks.
However, there is a social down time where the swelling, bruising, and incisions are at there greatest which is about a weeks. I tell people that they can wear makeup and go out to dinner by the end of seven days. Thus, the social downtime is one week. (Robert Najera, MD, Frisco Plastic Surgeon)
Recovery to baseline activity will take several weeks. I tell patients to expect enough swelling and bruising to be socially obvious for 2-3 weeks. During this time they will be asked to wear a facioplasty support garment most of the time.
I also advise that they limit heavy physical and vigorous exercise for about 4-6 weeks. Most of the swelling will be resolved by this time, but the final result may not be apparent for 3-6 months.
Pain is usually not severe and is easily managed with oral pain medications. Numbness can take 1-2 years to recover and scars will typically fade from pink to white over 3-12 months. (Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD, Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon)