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 12/10/2021
Updated by: Tang Ho, MD, Associate Professor, Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.