The Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts Blog


Facelift Plastic Surgery | Recovery | Fairfax County Northern VirginiaFacelift is a major cosmetic surgery procedure that will involve some post-operative downtime. At the same time, it will involve a certain amount of risk of complications that are typical in any surgical procedure. The plastic surgeon will discuss these issues at the outset to help the patient make an informed decision.

Dr. Trang Vo-Nguyen (Dr. V) is a leading, board certified facial plastic surgeon who makes every effort to make the facelift surgery less invasive, more targeted and involving minimal risk and downtime. Dr. V provides facelift and other procedures to patients in Chantilly, Northern Virginia, Loudoun County, Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier, Arlington, Middleburg, Leesburg, Manassas, Warrenton, and surrounding communities.


Immediate Post-Op Phase

Once the effect of general anesthesia wears off, the patient may feel slightly nauseous or cold, but the condition will improve very quickly. The treated area will be covered with bandages, and some drainage tubes may be placed for a few days. Most patients can return home the same day of the surgery, but may have to visit the next day for a review of the progress.


Recovery in the First Week

Mild swelling and bruising is expected in the first week, which can cause some pain. Patients should take pain medications as prescribed by the surgeon. It is not advisable to remain sedentary during this period, but strenuous activities should be avoided. After the first week, most patients will have their stitches and drains removed.


Recovery in the Subsequent Weeks

Swelling is likely to persist for a few weeks after the facelift surgery, but the patient will be able to see clearer results as the recovery progresses. Most patients can return to their workplace in about 10 to 14 days, but they will still have some restrictions with regard to lifting heavy weights or performing vigorous exercises or activities.

Full results of a facelift will continue to establish over several months. If the patient follows the surgeon’s instructions during the recovery period, the risk of complications is minimized. Dr. V receives patients from Chantilly, Northern Virginia, Loudoun County, Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier, Arlington, Middleburg, Leesburg, Manassas, Warrenton, and nearby areas for facelift surgery.


Potential Complications

Some of the complications that may occur in exceptional cases in any surgical procedure, including facelift, are listed as follows:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection occurring during or after the surgery
  • Hematoma or bleeding under the skin
  • Nerve damage in rare cases
  • Obvious scarring

These risks can be minimized when the patient chooses a highly trained and experienced plastic surgeon with proven expertise in facial surgery procedures. The patient should also be cooperative and following all the pre- and post-op instructions diligently to keep the risk of complications to the minimum.

Temporary side effects following a facelift surgery may include nausea for a few hours, mild pain, and discomfort in the first week, bruising and swelling that could last for several weeks or months, mild scarring, temporary numbness, slow healing of the wounds, and short term discoloration of the incision sites.


For more infomation please contact Dr. V. Dr. Trang Thuy Vo-Nguyen, known to her patients as “Dr. V,” is a board certified facial plastic surgeon providing the latest surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures in Northern Virginia, Leesburg, Loudoun, Fairfax, Warrenton, Fauquier, Arlington, Manassas, Middleburg, Prince William, and other areas.

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