What to Expect After Facial Surgery

If you’re getting ready to have facial surgery of any kind, your surgeon will give you specific advice on how to prepare for the procedure. But what about afterward?  How much “down time” can you expect, and when will you start to feel normal again?

Most facial surgery procedures are done on an outpatient basis, but you’ll still need to plan for some recovery time. The more you know what to expect after facial surgery, the better you can prepare, and the more smoothly your recovery should go.


Whether you’re having a facelift, ear reduction, brow lift or eyelid surgery, any surgery is invasive, and that means your body will likely react with some pain, bruising and swelling, especially during the first couple of days afterward.  The pain and swelling can be managed with ice compresses and medications prescribed by your doctor; the bruising should go away after a few days. The only point of concern is if you begin running a temperature over 100º F or notice pus discharging from the incision areas; if this happens, there may be an infection, and your physician may want to prescribe an antibiotic.


Smoking reduces your resistance to infection and slows down the recovery process.  Your doctor will likely advise you not to smoke before or after the surgery, but it’s best not to smoke at all during the recovery.  If you have been looking for a good excuse to quit, facial surgery might just be the opportunity you’re looking for!

TAKE IT EASYRelax and Recovery

Even though you haven’t been through a major operation, facial surgery still traumatizes the body. Give yourself the time you need to relax and recover; avoid strenuous activity for at least the first few days. Depending on the specific procedure, most people are able to resume normal activities within 7-14 days.


After surgery, your bandages can typically be removed within a few days, and the stitches will be removed within 7-10 days.  For minor procedures, you’ll likely feel “normal” again in around 2 weeks; for more extensive procedures like a facelift or neck lift, full recovery may take up to a month.

To learn more about various facial surgery procedures or to schedule an appointment with an experienced facial surgeon, call Riverside Oral & Facial Surgery at 706.235.5570.