How to Reduce Swelling After Facelift

Jun 11, 2023

Swelling after a facelift is a regular occurrence for everyone who has opted for this procedure. Although the healing process can take longer, there might still be ways to shorten the time. If you’re wondering how to reduce swelling after facelift, you’ve come to the right place. 

This article should give valuable tips to help you deal with swelling and shorten the facelift recovery.

Reducing Swelling After a Facelift_ Tips for a Faster Healing Process

Source: / Photo Contributor: SvetlanaFedoseyeva

How to Reduce Swelling After Facelift

All those planning a facelift are concerned about the physical effects that appear on the face. Namely, swelling is a common phenomenon that you may notice immediately after the operation.

Although it takes some time for the swelling to go down, there are several measures you should take to reduce your recovery time. Because of this, we decided to present you with some useful tips that we hope will help you in your postoperative recovery.

Post-operative advice follow-up

In addition to familiarizing yourself with the facelift procedure, you should also pay attention to the advice afterward. Post-operative advice aims to familiarize you with the steps needed for an easier and faster recovery. 

If you do not heed such tips, healing may be delayed, and you may face unwanted side effects. To this end, the instructions may contain:

In order to get all the useful instructions, it is best to consult а doctor who specializes in performing facelift surgery. In addition to post-operative advice, you can get information if you notice any side effects that may occur during the healing process.

Post-operative advice follow-up

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Stay hydrated

Hydration is essential after a facelift. Therefore, you should drink enough water to prevent blood clots and promote proper blood flow.

In addition, water may play a crucial role in keeping the skin healthy even after the facelift process. Thus, to stay hydrated, it is recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day, which is enough to reduce postoperative swelling faster.

Avoid heat sources

Cold may help reduce postoperative swelling, and heat sources might make it more prominent. Therefore, staying away from heat sources after the facelift treatment is best.

Such sources include hot showers, going outside in hot weather, using heat lamps, etc. It is advisable to avoid hot showers for the first three days after surgery and stay in your air-conditioned room. That way, you may shorten the time of your postoperative swelling.

Keep your head elevated while lying down or sleeping

In addition to the above tips, sleeping position also plays a significant role in reducing postoperative swelling. Therefore, it is best to keep your head elevated if you want to lie down or sleep. 

This position may allow excess blood to flow away from the affected area. Namely, it is known that facial swelling is caused by excess fluids and sometimes even blood that accumulates in and around the surgical site. So, when going to bed or before falling asleep, it is best to use two pillows to speed up the healing process.

Use cold compresses

The use of cold compresses may largely contribute to the reduction of swelling and faster healing. Because of this, you can use ice packs that you will apply to the affected area. This way, the cold compress will constrict the blood vessels and give you a feeling of relaxation.

However, you should carefully apply the cold compress to the affected areas. Direct application of ice can cause ice burning and not contribute to improving the health condition. In addition to cold compresses, you should sit at home in an air-conditioned room if the weather outside is hot.

Get enough nutrients

After the facelift procedure, it is of great importance to pay attention to your diet. While lying in bed, you might indeed have the urge to order fast food or food with no nutritional value. Such food contains a large amount of salt, which may harm the healing of the swelling. Instead, ensure you eat home-cooked food, fruits, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.

In addition, make sure that you are getting enough vitamin K. This vitamin is an excellent solution to help reduce swelling and is known for protecting collagen. You can get it through yogurt, eggs, and green leafy vegetables.

Get enough nutrients

Source: / Source: New Africa

Postoperative Early Effects

After the facelift treatment and before swelling, you should consider the early effects immediately after the surgery. Such effects are expected, and it is good to be aware of them to stay calm.

After the surgery is over, you may likely feel exhausted as a result of the anesthesia. The anesthesia duration depends on the anesthetic type and the amount applied. Therefore, you may feel dizzy or nauseous during this period. Also, you should never drive a motor vehicle; instead, call one of your friends and relatives to drive you home.

After the effect of the anesthetic is over, you might feel pain in the middle and lower part of the face, which is entirely normal. When you feel the anesthetic wearing off, it is best to take the prescribed painkillers to stop the pain effectively.

Keep in mind that after the operation, the bruises are still fresh, and it is possible that light bleeding may occur. By applying light pressure to your bandages, your bleeding should stop. On the other hand, if the bleeding continues, you should consult your doctor immediately.

How Long Does Facial Swelling Last?

Postoperative swelling is expected after the facelift procedure, and you should not be concerned. If you regularly follow the doctor’s instructions, you may reduce the duration of the swelling. Therefore, if you are wondering how long the postoperative swelling would take, it depends on each patient individually.

Generally speaking, the swelling may decrease in about seven days if you have had cosmetic surgery. Besides, the bruises may disappear in about two weeks. If you had stitches after surgery, they may need to be removed about a week later.

In addition, you should consult your doctor regularly, and you may need to have a few appointments to evaluate the healing process. On the other hand, if you want to return to work, you can do so after two weeks if your job does not require physical effort.

How Long Does Facial Swelling Last

Source: /  Photo Contributor: Lyubov Levitskaya

Common Postoperative Side Effects

Side effects are something to expect when it comes to facelift surgery. However, most of these effects usually disappear as the healing process progresses. For this purpose, we will present to you the common effects that may occur postoperatively and what measures you should take.


Swelling is expected, not only in facelift surgery but in all surgeries in general. Namely, many patients are worried about the size of the swelling that appears immediately after the operation, but remember that this phenomenon disappears during the healing process. 

The valuable tips mentioned above will help you know how to reduce swelling after facelift easier.


Bruising occurs along with swelling immediately after surgery and usually subsides within a few weeks. Bruises are characterized by the appearance of “black eyes”, which should disappear as the healing process progresses.


Pain appears after surgery after the effect of the anesthetic wears off. Aware of this phenomenon, it is highly likely that your doctor will prescribe pain medication that should help you after surgery.


Many patients are concerned about scars and their visibility in aesthetic appearance. However, the incision lines should lighten over time and become less noticeable as they heal. Additionally, there are some effective tips and techniques for hiding scars after facelift surgery.

When to Call a Doctor

Although certain occurrences after surgery are not a cause for concern, more serious complications might be a sign that you should seek help from a doctor. Such complications include:

  • Excessive bleeding – postoperatively, it is normal to experience some minor bleeding in the first two days. If the bleeding continues, you should immediately consult a doctor.
  • Hematoma – a hematoma develops if bleeding occurs under the skin. In such a case, additional surgery may be needed to correct it.
  • Infection – if you notice inflammation, localized warmth, or lingering redness, these are signs that you may have an infection. To deal with the infection, you should contact your doctor, who will prescribe appropriate antibiotics.


During the healing process, swelling is a phenomenon that you are very likely to experience. Therefore, it is very important to familiarize yourself with the effects of the healing process and what measures you can take as a patient. We hope this article helped you learn how to reduce swelling after facelift and how long the healing process may take.

At the very end, you should keep in mind that postoperative care is of great importance for a faster recovery. Therefore, it is best to follow all the instructions given to you by your doctor and take only the medicines prescribed by them. Taking medicines on your own and taking advice from people who are incompetent can lead to a prolonged recovery process and worsening of your health.