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Facelift Recovery

Driving, Work, and Exercise After Facelift Surgery

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Updated August 05, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

If you want to achieve the best possible outcome after a facelift, knowing which activities you can perform and when you can perform them after surgery is important. Here's a list of post-facelift suggestions:

  • You should not smoke after any surgery, but especially after facelift surgery. Nicotine reduces the blood flow to the skin and can cause skin loss.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or pushing anything over five to 10 pounds for two weeks. Heavy lifting can cause a hematoma, which would require another operation.
  • Do not bend over for the first week. Bending over may cause dizziness or an uncomfortable fullness, so move cautiously for the first week.
  • Avoid strenuous activity and rigorous exercise for one week. You should, however, start walking after surgery. Your plastic surgeon will let you know when you can return to your normal exercise routine.
  • Do not drive while you are taking pain medication because the drugs will alter your judgment and delay your responses. Following most operations, you will be able to drive once you stop taking pain medication.
  • Unlike incisions from body contouring procedures, facelift incisions are not easily covered by clothing. Therefore, use extreme caution when exposing yourself to the sun. During the first year, protect all surgical sites with a strong sun block (SPF 15-40).
Learn More About Facelift Surgery
  • Facelift Recovery – How to Care for Your Face After Surgery
  • Facelift Recovery – Pain Management

  • Recovery After Other Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Recovery After Plastic Surgery - All Procedures
  • Sources:

    American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Facelift Recovery Accessed May 22, 2011.

    Hidalgo DA, Stuzin JM. Rhytidectomy. In Evans GRD, ed. Operative Plastic Surgery. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.

    Mentz HA. Multilayer Rhytidectomy. In Evans GRD, ed. Operative Plastic Surgery. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.

    Thorne CH, Steinbrech DS. Face Lift and Brow Lift. In McCarthy JG, Galiano RD, Boutros SG, eds. Current Therapy in Plastic Surgery. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier, 2006.

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