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What should I expect during my facelift recovery?

Facelift and necklift surgery is performed to turn back the clock on facial aging. These procedures can often enhance the natural appearance of the face, removing 10-20 years from the facial aging process. I tell my patients that the level of results parallels the level of downtime and recovery. Facelift and necklift surgery does have some downtime.

Some patients choose to undergo "mini lift" surgery. A "Mini Facelift" is typically appropriate for a patient in their 40's to early 50's with some mild sagging along the jawline and minimal changes to the neck. One of the benefits of this procedure is the reduced downtime profile; by one week the sutures are removed and the swelling is minimal. Patients are able to camouflage incisions by wearing their hair down, and can go about every day life.

For more intense correction, a Deep Plane face and neck lift is the procedure of choice. If there is any platysmal banding or sagging in the neck, a Deep Plane face and neck lift is appropriate. A Deep plane facelift is the most advanced surgical technique for facial rejuvenation that is possible. Dr. Givens is a specialist in the Deep Plane Facelift technique, and the procedure can be comfortably performed in his office surgery suite in Dubuque, IA. During a Deep Plane Facelift, I work underneath the facial muscles, and release the ligaments that hold the face in a sagging position. This allows for gentle repositioning of the facial tissues to a more youthful position. Because there is no tension, the results are more natural and longer lasting. For additional detail, please see the following post about deep plane facelift: Deep Plane facelift- Why should you choose this option?

I tell my patients that recovery from a Deep Plane Facelift is between 1-2 weeks. What does this mean? During this first one or two weeks, you should not expect to be seen in public. Initially, there is some swelling and mild bruising. A head wrap is placed at the time of surgery, and removed on the first postoperative day. A drain is also placed to remove the leaky fluid, and this is typically removed on the first postoperative day as well. During this time, swelling peaks around day 3, and gradually reduces after that time. Sutures are removed on day 7. Many patients feel comfortable at day 7 going out in public, however incisions are still noticeable if the hair or a hat is not covering them. By day 7, most of the bruising is gone, and the swelling is reduced.

After the end of the second week, most patients feel comfortable going about their daily routine. Incisions are still visible, but can be camouflaged by wearing the hair down. Much of the swelling is improved. It is important to understand that healing is a process, and even at 2-4 weeks you are not "event ready". By three months, healing has started to reach a certain level of refinement. By 6 months, the face is fully healed.

Facelift and Necklift are a very personal choice. It is important to choose a specialist who is trained in the most up-to-date surgical techniques, and who has an artful aesthetic. Natural results are so extremely important, and a facelift should not be an afterthought. I tailor the surgical plan to each unique patient. No two patients are the same, and each patient receives a custom-designed treatment.

Patients travel from all across Iowa, as well as the Southwest Wisconsin and Chicagoland area to see Dr. Givens. He is widely recognized in the area for his expertise in Deep Plane Facelifting and Necklifting. Please inquire as to video visits and other accomodations that can be made for out-of-town patients. Of note, an in-person visit is required prior to booking facial rejuvenation surgery.


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