How soon may I drive after a facelift? I have a stick shift.

Dr. Dean Kane Q & A.

Q. How soon may I drive after a facelift? I have a stick shift. A.​ While answers will vary from surgeon to surgeon, healing occurs in step-wise progression. ​ ​Most complications occur within the first 24 hours and between the 2nd and 3rd week when you start to feel better. ​ ​It is the stitches that hold the skin together along the edges and they weaken 50% by the 2nd to 3rd week. By that time, only minimal collagen or scar have sealed off the blood vessels and developed a tenuous adhesion until firm healing occurs by 6 weeks. ​ ​Any exertion during the first 3 weeks tempts a complication such as bleeding or the incision separating. I recommend only ADL’s (activities of daily living) such as hygiene, light walks, head elevated, no exercise, etc for the first 3 weeks. Thereafter, take things more actively for 3 more weeks before considering returning to weightlifting, marathons and other hustle and bustle. ​ ​Driving is considered an exertion and can add stress onto the face. While driving your car you will have to turn your head to be a safe driver. This turning can add tension onto the closure of your stitches. You must be responsible for yourself and others around you. Have someone else drive you during the first 3 weeks. ​ ​I hope this has been helpful. All the best!     Sincerely, Dean Kane, MD, FACS
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