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How Soon Can I Exercise After Facelift Surgery?

By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on January 31, 2018


Many people who are unhappy with the signs of aging showing on their face turn to plastic surgery to rejuvenate their appearance. In such cases, a facelift is one of the most effective ways to smooth wrinkles and tighten aging skin. When undergoing facelift surgery, it is common for patients to want to return to their normal routines as soon as possible. After all, staying active and getting plenty of exercise is an important component of maintaining a youthful appearance. But exercising too soon after facelift surgery can lead to complications and prolong recovery. This is why plastic surgeon Brian J. Kobienia provides detailed instructions about exercise after facelift surgery to his Edina, MN, patients. Today, we will consider some general guidelines about exercising after facelift surgery. Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Kobienia to receive your personalized recommendations.

A woman exercising after a facelift

The First Few Days After Surgery

During the first few days after facelift surgery, it is important for patients to get plenty of rest and avoid excessive or strenuous activity. Activities that increase the heart rate and raise blood pressure should be avoided as they can cause the tiny blood vessels beneath the skin of the face to bleed, increasing the risk of complications. Although strenuous activity should be avoided, it is recommended that patients get out of bed and take short, light walks to encourage blood circulation and healing.

One to Three Weeks After Surgery

As patients heal, activity levels may be gradually increased. Patients should start slow and listen to their bodies when increasing activity levels. With that said, heavy lifting, including weight training and strenuous activity, should continue to be avoided throughout the first several weeks following surgery. Patients should increase the length of their walks and may begin to add gentle stretches before or after walking to keep the muscles limber.

Four Weeks After Surgery

Four weeks after surgery, most patients have recovered enough to add light cardio exercises back into their routines. Slowly pedaling on a stationary bike, light aerobics, and gentle dancing, are good ways to introduce light cardio back into a post-surgery exercise routine. 

Six Weeks After Surgery and Beyond

After six weeks of recovery, most patients are sufficiently healed to return to their regular exercise routines, which may include strenuous activity, such as weightlifting and cross fit training. However, each patient is different and some may require more time to recover. Accordingly, it is important to get doctor approval before resuming your full exercise routine, including strenuous activity and heavy lifting, after facelift surgery.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Kobienia

Following all doctor recommendations, including exercise guidelines, after facelift surgery is necessary to reduce the risk of complications and ensure optimal results. If you would like more information about exercising after facelift surgery, or have other questions about facial rejuvenation procedures, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kobienia. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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