How long until the results of my face and neck lift are obvious? I am 3 weeks out and no one has noticed. Is that normal?

Dr. Dean Kane Q & A Time Ticking Q. I would like to know if the results of a face and neck lift improve over a certain period of time? When are the best results start to become noticeable? A. Without pre and post-operative photos and proper evaluation, it is impossible to provide specifics on your procedure. ​ Healing and results following facelift or any surgery is a universal concern and very reasonable question for all patients to understand. ​ There is a dynamic and similar course of healing everyone goes through following surgery or an injury. Physiologically, any incision or puncture of the skin will cause bleeding and bruising. The length of the incision and amount of lift or undermining determine the magnitude of the healing to occur. More surgery means more bruising, swelling and potential side-effects or complications but the healing time is similar and that is because the “army” of healing cells and scar formation is the same for any injury. ​Please anticipate:
  • Swelling and bruising for 10 days to 3 weeks
  • Potential bleeding complications and incision concerns during the first 3 weeks
  • Under the skin firming, lumpiness and irregularity during the first 3 months
Emotionally, patients go through a “roller coaster” of concerns and presentations. You can expect:
  • 1-5 days: initial surprise: “I didn’t expect this”
  • 1-3 weeks: concern and a feeling of “did I do the right thing”
  • 2-4 weeks: worry: “when is this swelling, bruising going to go away”
  • 4-12 weeks: more worry: “why am I forming lumps and irregularities”
  • 2-4 months: depression: “I have to look socially acceptable and I look deformed”
  • 3-4 months: sunlight: “it’s getting better”
  • 6 months: elation: “wow, I look good”
  • 9-12 months: super-elation: “wow, I look hot!”
  • 3-10 years: eventual disappointment: “where did it all go?”
Each patient and each physician interpret their changes and findings differently. ​ Return to your treating physician to compare you and your pre-operative photos. ​ All the best!
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