It depends on what your facelift entails. patchoulli had a very easy recovery. It was a month before I could go in public.
I had mine done on Wed, here is what I looked like on Sunday. As you can image, it was weeks before I could be seen and even longer until I could go without an ace bandage to keep swelling down.
Pain was AGONY. Mother f&*(ing 100% jump out of the window AGONY. My asshole doctor did not get me the right pain meds soon enough, may he rot in hell. If you get a brow lift you may need Dilaudid for 1-3 days.
Had to sleep sitting up for months - an electric recliner was a must.
I would do the eyelid and eye-bag removal with someone else. I don't think I would do anything else. Even with the eye, I could not see well (to do much computer work) for 1-2weeks. The lower eyebags are taken out from within the undereyelid -no visible scars, but very tough on the eyes. I had big bubbles of blood and fluid on my cornea (actually conjunctiva- the part of your cornea that is not over the iris). It was pretty brutal, but that is prob all I would have had.
If you do the mid-face or brow-lift or neck-lift, the recovery can be lengthy. I still have swelling 9 months later. I think the swelling would not have been so bad had I not sobbed for hours after surgery until I realized I had better get it under control or I'll undo the results. Then I just cried for days and days.
As far as I am concerned, most people and most all doctors under play the pain - just think, it's 8 hour of surgery - that is alot of tissue damage and muscle manipulation. It's just human nature - but as you can see - pictures don't lie and that photo was 4 days out, after the drains were removed and a shower washed the blood out. I looked more like Frankenstein just after surgery - so I am told, I did not look because I did not want that image seared into my brain - this photo was bad enough.
I am so very much more happy with my arm lift/breast lift. That has made such an improvement in my general attitude towards my body; with the face stuff I just have PTStress. I talked about pain management until my arm lift doctor almost thought I was a nut job until I showed him the face picture, then he understood. He had a standard pain regime that worked for me: oxy/valium/tylenol rotated so you had something to take every 2-4 hours and the pain never grew to elephant-size. I was given oxy during recovery when the pain started emerging in the recovery room (the face guy just sent me home in pain and I arrived home in AGONY (after 50 miles of New Jersey rush hour traffic) and it took days to get it under control - really about a week. The face guy REFUSED to give me anything other puny little percosets - I needed a dilaudid to get the pain undercontrol.
I totally agree that plastic surgeons underplay the amount of recovery and even the depth of pain from plastics. I had my arm lift done in July. It was extensive and ended up being 5 hours of surgery. I had a lot of nerve pain and for days could not get it under control. I remember praying to god to just lesson the pain enough so that I could handle it.
Then 3 weeks ago I had a full abdominalplasty, Breast Lift and augmentation along with a small bit of lipo as a revision to my left arm. My surgery went over 10 hours. I did stay in the hospital the first two days and the nursing team was understaffed. I was on IV Dilaudid and I could have it every hour and trust me, I needed it. Well, at one point I went 5 hours before a nurse could get in to take care of it. I ended up calling my surgeon and complaining. She must have done something because after that i got it when I asked for it.
Anyway, I had a small complication. Apparently we irritated my medial nerve in my left arm so I woke up and my left hand is numb but it hurts like it has been frost bitten. It has not gotten better at all. They say it will come back but so far nothing. Also, I have a lot of breast pain. Tummy tuck was a piece of cake in comparison.
What frustrates me is that you read on real self the doctors that say oh, with a Mommy makeover you should be good in just a couple of weeks. Well I call bull**** on that and my surgeon agrees. This amount of surgery is a painful, long recovery.
I do intend to do a face lift but after reading your story and seeing your picture, I am freaked out! I know I will do it anyway but geez you look pretty rough.
I am absolutely thrilled with my results on everything I have done, I just underestimated the pain and recovery.
The the docs hide behind the 'I didn;t want you to get hooked." Like we're fu^*)& stupid. The doctors are TOO effing lazy to follow the controls so that their staff doesn't steal the necessary pain meds (or they have employed compromised staff who have known drug problems to save money that cannot be around controlled substances). Yes, you plastic surgeons, I hope you reading these posts because we know your tricks and how you are not policing your profession. Bad doctors give you all a bad rep so clean it up.
I would NEVER again have plastic surgery in a doctors facility - I'll pay the extra cash and go to a hospital (which I did with my armlift). REAL PROFESSIONALS (nurses, anesthiologists, etc) look after you and they act like you are actually a patient and are not just interested in getting you out the door by 5pm. The nurse who discharged me - partly conscious and already in pain deserves her own circle of hell, IMHO, and I hope one awaits her. All hospitals are not great, but there are more people in them, they have real pharmacies with real drugs, and I think less likely to treat you shabbily because others (including cameras) will see. Hospitals have a second shift coming in so you are not screwed if you have a long surgery and they want to rush you out the door because they close a 5pm. I still do not know how they got me into my friends car to get me send home - I was still so out of it from the anesthesia, but already complaining of pain. The effing incompetent ***** knew it and still sent me home. May they all rot in hell.
Just to be clear, my experience was NOT in a surgery center. It was in a hospital and I really believe they were very short staffed that night. My previous experience in that same hospital was completely different. In fact it was completely different in a good way on my second night. The nurse came in with pain meds right before I was due, every single hour. It actually became annoying to me because I was trying to rest so I asked if they could put me on oral meds which would at least give me 3 or so hours in between. The nurse was worried about that because the IV meds work faster but they certainly don't last as long.
also my surgeon takes very good care of me with pain control and the proper medications. I know there are doctors and facilities that do not.
pain is a very subjective thing. What might be horrible for me, might be a piece of cake for someone else. Thankfully I could not have asked for a better plastics team. They really care about their patients. In fact, following both surgeries I was given their personal cell phone numbers and when my complication came up, they were immediately checking on me.