Facelift risks and safety information

The decision to have a facelift is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.

Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks and potential complications.

Facelift risks include:

  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Correctable hair loss at the incisions
  • Facial nerve injury with weakness
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Skin loss
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Pain, which may persist
  • Skin contour irregularities
  • Skin discoloration, sensitivity or swelling
  • Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal
  • Unsatisfactory results may include asymmetry, unsatisfactory surgical scar location, unacceptable visible deformities at the ends of the incisions (It may be necessary to perform additional surgery to improve your results)
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Possibility of revisional surgery

Be sure to ask questions: It’s very important to ask your plastic surgeon questions about your facelift procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

A special note about the use of fibrin sealants (tissue glue)

Fibrin sealants (made from heat-treated human blood components to inactivate virus transmission) are used to hold tissue layers together at surgery and to diminish post-operative bruising following surgery.

This product has been carefully produced from screened donor blood plasma for hepatitis, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These products have been used safely for many years as sealants in cardiovascular and general surgery. This product is thought to be of help in diminishing surgical bleeding and by adhering layers of tissue together.

When you go home

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure. Another surgery may be necessary.

Be careful

Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Avoid wearing any clothing that must go over your head. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.



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