Facelift: aftercare and recovery


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You can leave the clinic when your surgeon and anaesthetist deem it appropriate. Following a minilift or a MACS facelift you can usually do so a few hours after the procedure. After a more extensive SMAS facelift you can return home or to your hotel the following morning. You are not allowed to drive so make sure that someone comes to collect you and stays with you for the first 24 hours following the procedure.

After the treatment you receive personal instructions regarding your aftercare. It is important that you follow them carefully.

Rest is important, make the most of it

  • Make sure you get enough rest the week after your procedure and that there is someone to help you.
  • Sleep on your back on 2 pillows. This reduces the risk of post-operative bleeding and swelling. It also promotes healing.
  • During the first three weeks after the treatment you must not use any force to push, pull or lift anything, or bend over.
  • Avoid intensive chewing when eating solid food. This will put pressure on the stitches in the face.
  • Do not drink any hot drinks such as tea or coffee to avoid getting steam in your face.
  • Any swelling and bruising will worsen the first three days but will then slowly start to improve.
  • It is wise and normal to stay active. It is good for your circulation and helps the wounds heal.
  • Do not undertake any heavy or demanding work or sports activities during the first six weeks.
  • Plan your social events. Stay home for a week. The treated area will look blue, swollen and bruised the first week. Immediately after the procedure the scars may also look red and swollen. This can sometimes be slightly alarming.
  • One to two weeks after a facelift you usually look presentable again and can resume your social activities.

Try not to get too emotional. After a few weeks everything will be fine again. The intention is for you to look more beautiful than before. After all, that is why you did it!

Removing your stitches

Between 5 and 14 days after your procedure (depending on the type of facelift) you return to the Wellness Kliniek for your post-operative check-up. During the consultation your stitches are removed. Removing stitches is a simple procedure and can also be performed by a nurse or your GP.

Dissolvable stitches can be left in place. They will dissolve within approximately 6 weeks.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I go home straight after my facelift has been performed?
    A facelift such as the Minilift, MACS and the neck lift are performed as day surgery and are usually performed under a local anaesthetic or intravenous sedation. This means that you can return home or to your hotel a few hours after the procedure. After a more extensive facelift, such as a SMAS facelift and SMAS neck lift you stay one night at the clinic.
  • When can I start eating again?
    You can already drink something after the procedure. The next day you can eat an easily digestible meal such as cheese with some dry toast.
  • Do I need to wear a bandage?
    Following a Minilift, MACS facelift or neck lift you will be given an elastic bandage. After the first night the nurse will replace the head bandage in the morning with the elastic facelift bandage. This bandage must be worn for between 2 and 6 weeks.
  • Will I feel any pain after the procedure?
    Everyone experiences pain differently. After a facelift you will feel a pulling sensation because the skin and muscles are slightly taut. Usually the area around the ears is also more sensitive. Take the pain medication prescribed for you. The pain will subside after a couple of days.
  • When can I start taking a shower again?
    You can shower again 24 hours after your procedure. However it is extremely important that your face, wounds and the bandage do not get wet. Also make sure that the water is not too hot. This can result in the treated area becoming swollen.
  • When can I start to wear my contact lenses again?
    It is better not to wear contact lenses the first couple of weeks after your facelift because you may put pressure on the treated area when inserting and removing your lenses.
  • When can I start driving again?
    We advise you not to drive or bicycle the first couple of weeks. Wait at least until the stitches have been removed or have dissolved.
  • When can I drink alcohol again?
    During the first few weeks following your procedure, it is important that you do not drink alcohol or take any blood-thinning medication. This can give rise to undesired complications such as post-operative bleeding and hematoma formation.
  • When can I resume smoking?
    Smoking is detrimental to your healing and rehabilitation. It can cause undesirable complications such as poor wound healing. You must definitely not smoke the first 4 to 6 weeks following your procedure.
  • When can I enjoy the sun again?
    You can enjoy the sun but it is essential that you protect your scars properly from the sun and completely cover them up for the first 18 months. You must not expose your scars under a sunbed either.
  • Will the feeling return?
    Your skin will feel hard for a few weeks after a facelift. This is due to the scar formation. Sometimes the skin also lacks any sensation or it may feel over sensitive. This is a normal bodily reaction. The feeling will usually return a few weeks later, the subcutaneous stitches will dissolve and the swelling and bruising will gradually disappear.

Post-operative consultation

You are always welcome at the Wellness Kliniek for a post-operative consultation.

All our aftercare following a procedure is free. Don't hesitate to call us to make an appointment.


After your facelift procedure you will be given the Wellness Kliniek's permanent medical telephone number. Contact your surgeon if you experience any problems or have any concerns. 

Our doctors are there for you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Patient experiences with facelift

Belgium: TOP destination for plastic surgery in Europe - quality certified private clinic

All plastic surgeons and dentists are experts in their cosmetic field and are fully government registered in their medical specialty. Wellness Kliniek Belgium stands for safe surgery. The Wellness Kliniek has 4 operating rooms, recovery department, accommodation facility, 25 beds, 10 private rooms with bathroom.

Planning your medical trip has never been easier! For people who have to travel a considerable distance, the clinic offers a unique Next-Day-Surgery service: your consultation and operation on consecutive days.