Usually there is not much discomfort after surgery and pain medication can relieve it. Some numbness of the skin is normal and will disappear in a few weeks or months. The head will be elevated on two pillows (or at a 30 degree angle) for a couple of days after surgery to keep the swelling down.
The drainage tube will be removed 1 to 2 days after surgery if one was inserted. Bandages are usually removed after 1 to 5 days. The face will look pale, bruised, and puffy, but in 4 to 6 weeks it will be looking normal. Most of the stitches will be removed in 5 days. The stitches or metal clips in the hairline could be left in a few days longer if the scalp takes longer to heal.
Review Date 11/4/2020
Updated by: Elika Hoss, MD, Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.