813-603-3110 (Tampa Office)

Stages of Facelift Recovery

No two patients recover the exact same from a facelift! There are so many variables that come into play, such as your age, past medical history, prior surgeries, genetics, emotional outlook and of course the extent and type of surgery Dr. Demetri will perform for you.

We have created this page for patients of Dr. Demetri to provide them a better understanding of the healing process following his signature deep plane facelift.

Each individual patient heals at his or her own pace. However, there are common stages and concerns that almost everybody experiences to some degree. On this page, we want to walk you through a typical patient’s journey of both the physical and psychological recovery.

Please remember to use it as a guide and not a comparison – your recovery may be a little easier or harder – but in the end it will be worth it!


Preparing for facelift surgery is actually almost as important as what you do for yourself after the surgery. Our patients who prepare physically, logistically and emotionally enjoy their journey far more than others who just simply show up on the day of surgery.

I tell my patients to give me two weeks of their time until they are comfortable to be visible socially or professionally. In reality, most feel comfortable sooner, but two weeks is a good rule of thumb.


Clearing your social and professional calendar for 1-2 weeks will certainly reduce your stress and the frustration of trying to rush your healing along. We recommend to stock up on soft foods, fill up on small ice packs, sort out childcare, and activate your Netflix account with plenty of shows to watch so you can focus on yourself and your recovery.


Do your best to stay positive! Our patients with a positive mental attitude recover quicker. Those who seem to perseverate on every tiny issue and scour the internet reading up on rare complications tend to provoke trouble! It is important to accept the recovery period, knowing there will be days where you look very swollen. But remember swelling, bruising, and numbness are an expected part of your journey.

Leading up to Your Facelift

You’ve booked the procedure and cleared your work and personal schedule, everything is now ready but are you?! We all live busy lives and tend to get caught up in it. But in the few days right before surgery, the second guessing starts!

Am I doing the right thing? Will I be ok? Does my face or neck really bother me that bad? Everyone goes through this thought sequence. It’s a time of reflection and nerves finally creep in.

But, keep in mind you did your research and have chosen one of the best facelift surgeons in the country! Our office works 24/7 to ensure you have a successful and rewarding experience. Now is the time to ask any lingering questions as well.

Immediately After Your Facelift

Right After Surgery

AT LAST, you’ve done it! All the months and years of waiting, deciding, and planning are over. Your surgery was a success and now it is time to begin the recovery.

As the anesthesia wears off and you are feeling yourself again, we change you out of your surgical gown into your comfy clothes. Your loved one or one of our nurse caretakers will arrive to take you home. Spend the night resting and ideally sleeping with 4-5 pillows behind your head.

There is quite the variation from patient to patient in the first night. Some of you will just sleep the entire time. Some of you will feel uncomfortable from the compression wrap and have a tougher time falling asleep. We encourage you all to keep soft foods available because your mouth and jaw area will be sore. It’ll be easier to drink a smoothie or eat something soft. If you feel nauseous, then take the anti-nausea medication we have prescribed for you. This is the most uncomfortable you will feel in the recovery.

Day One After Surgery: Beat Up but Clearly See A Difference!

The day after surgery your compression bandage is taken down and your hair is gently cleaned for you. Despite the drains, some patients have a little extra fluid which we need to massage out from behind your ear. This is uncomfortable but quick and will provide you with instant relief. You have a chance to look at yourself in the mirror and admire your brand new face and jawline!

Afterwards, we provide you with a “jaw bra” that is way more comfortable than the first night bandage. This will provide enough compression around your neck but not feel like you are choking. Usually following your visit with us, we arrange for you to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This is where you lay in a chamber for 45 minutes to an hour and high pressures of oxygen are delivered to your face and neck. This improves the oxygen content in your circulation and helps with swelling. My patients are routinely placed under an LED phototherapy lamp straight after their hair wash as this encourages blood flow to the facial skin and brings in healing and growth.

Days 2-3 After Surgery: OMG, Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Done This

Now, days 2 to 3 after surgery are not as jolly. Usually this is when bruising develops more, small irregularities surface and you start to feel down. I tell all my patients that day 2 and 3 they probably won’t like me. And day 4 they’re upset with themselves for doing this. I promise it will get better and you will soon transform back to yourself.

Days 4-6 After Surgery: Bored, Bruised and Begging for Time to Go By Faster

The worst is now over and we have become friends again! The swelling is going down, the drains have been removed, the neck and jaw tightness is lessening but still limited and the bruises are changing colors.

1 Week After Surgery: Still Swollen but Turning the Corner

On day 7-8 you return to have your sutures removed by one of our medical assistants. You are likely still swollen still, some are very swollen, others look like they are ready to be back out for a night on the town – but again there is no ‘one size fits all.’

2 Weeks After Surgery: Restaurant Ready

Week 2 is a big week! Changes occur daily as swelling continues to go down and bruising fades. The arnica tablets we provide you certainly help expedite that process.

Most patients return to work around day 10-14. And at this time, we also say you’re likely “restaurant ready.” Meaning with a little makeup you can head out with friends or family and they are unlikely to notice anything except you look refreshed. This will be fun for you but also nerve wracking.

1 Month After Surgery: Loving My Refreshed Look!

Ok here we go! In the majority of patients, 80% of the swelling has gone away now. You finally get to the point where days will lapse and you actually wont have even thought about your surgery or your new look! Which is hard to believe considering just a couple weeks ago you were staring at yourself in the mirror every minute judging every millimneter of your face and neck. The numbness is now noticeably different and about half of our patients get their ‘feeling’ back at this point. The scars are really hard to even see.

3 Months After Surgery – Elated You Did It!

At your three month follow up we are ecstatic for you! Now you are glowing and look your best. It will be fun to look at the before and after photos together!


Dr. Demetri is one of the top facelift surgeons in the country. He focuses his practice exclusively on facial rejuvenation procedures. Our patients travel both domestically and internationally for his signature deep plane facelift technique.