Every patient wants to be as prepared as possible for their facelift surgery. Knowing what to expect just before, during, and after the surgery can help ease nerves and ensure a successful procedure.
While a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon will help you prepare for a facelift, getting to follow along on another patient’s facelift journey can give you even more insight into what to expect from your surgery. Follow Deb, a 61-year-old woman from Edison, New Jersey, step by step through the facelift process.
The Day Before
The first stop for Deb was Dr. Mark Glasgold’s office in Highland Park, New Jersey, for her pre-surgery consultation. Deb said she felt excited, anxious, and apprehensive about the surgery the next day.
Deb compared the body to a car when explaining her reasons for wanting a facelift. “You’re only given one body,” she said. “So, you better maintain it like you would a car. If you only got one car throughout your life, you’d take excellent care of it.”
She explained that she’s doing what she can to grow old gracefully. She doesn’t want to look “done” or like her daughters. She wants a refreshed look to ease her into retirement.
During her consultation with Dr. Mark, as she fondly calls him, she expressed concern about unnatural results. She doesn’t want to look pulled tight across the mouth. Dr. Mark reassured her that the techniques he uses would avoid that.
He explained to Deb where the changes would be made and gave her details on the locations of the incisions and the stitches, noting that they’ll be located in the hairline. Dr. Mark’s explanations and reassurances made Deb feel great and ready to proceed.
The Big Day
Deb arrived at the office bright and early, before 7 AM, on the day of her surgery. She told Dr. Mark that her daughter had given her the pre-surgical medication, and she felt a little woozy. But she was still able to ask a few last-minute questions.
Deb’s facelift took about three hours. Afterward, she didn’t have any bandages or drains. Dr. Mark visited her in the recovery room around noon, and the two chatted about how Deb felt.
She said she felt okay, a bit woozy, but overall very comfortable. She’d been given some water. Dr. Mark asked her if she wanted to see how she looked, and she agreed.
After looking at herself in a mirror, Deb exclaimed, “that’s it?!” She was expecting something worse and was surprised by how good she looked already.
Dr. Mark assured her that “that was as bad as it was going to get.”
Deb said she’d heard horror stories and was amazed at how good she felt and looked.
Deb got to go home the day of her surgery. After being home for several hours, she checked in again around 3 pm.
She said she felt great and that it was good to feel the fresh air on the way home. She’d had a snack and coffee, and her daughter had put arnica patches on her incisions.
Deb said she hadn’t had any pain or looked for bruising yet. She was hopeful that the recovery would go as smoothly as the surgery.
A few hours later, around 6 pm, Deb checked in again. She said everything was still going great, and some friends had just visited her. She mentioned that she had started to see bruising, which was a bit more than expected.
She said that she’d see Dr. Mark again for a follow-up the next day.
Deb saw Dr. Mark the day after her facelift. She told him that she had a good night’s sleep and felt better than when she had a toothache. She said she was shocked at how well the recovery was going.
Her friends, who came to visit her the night before and stayed until around 10 pm, were also shocked at her recovery progress. Deb told Dr. Mark that she was acting as a promotion for him since everything was going so well.
Dr. Mark explained to Deb that he performed a deep plane facelift, more extensive than the traditional facelift procedure. He mentioned that everything looked perfect and that Deb was healing better than many patients. Dr. Mark warned Deb that she was likely to experience some tightness over the next day.
Back at home, Deb said she had some tightness under her chin, which was the worst part, and some pressure in her ear, maybe due to swelling. She reassured us that she’d “do it again in a heartbeat.”
The Worst Day?
Two days after surgery, Friday, Deb said she was prepared for the worst in terms of swelling and bruising but ended up being pleasantly surprised. She said she didn’t notice much swelling or bruising. The only thing bothering her was the stitches behind her ear, which she said felt “pinchier.”
Deb said her friends and family were also impressed with the results, both her appearance just two days after a facelift and her energy levels. She didn’t need drains, ice, or bandages. She said she kept going to the mirror to look at herself and was excited that she “now has a jawline again.”
“I’m thrilled with it!” Deb said of her surgery.
On Saturday evening, three days after her facelift, Deb went out to the movies with a few friends. In her video detailing her experience, she marvels at her recovery, which continued to be easy.
“I anticipated the worst,” Deb said. But overall, it was a wonderful experience and was much less uncomfortable than she feared. The subtly of her facelift was exactly what she wanted. She doesn’t have that defined jawline, but rather a “rested, fresh look.”
“I just wanted to look better for 61,” she said.
One of Deb’s friends was monitoring Deb’s progress closely and was reassured by Deb’s recovery experience, as the friend was going to have a facelift with Dr. Mark in a few weeks.
The first week after her surgery went quickly and everything was fine, Deb said. On the fifth day after her facelift, she returned to Dr. Mark for a post-op check-in and to have her stitches removed.
Dr. Mark talked about Deb’s healing, noting that she was a phenomenal healer. Her case was particularly interesting, Dr. Mark noted since she was a smoker, yet still experienced great healing.
Deb said she had some trouble sleeping the night before because she was nervous about the visit and potentially feeling pain during the stitch removal. But, again, she was pleasantly surprised, as the process was quick and painless.
At this point, Deb was cleared to return to all her normal daily activities. She said she was excited to really get to wash her hair again.
Every patient’s facelift journey is unique. To see what might be in store for you, call (732) 846-6540 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark at the Glasgold Group today in New Jersey.