Facelift Side Effects: What to Expect
A facelift is a tried-and-true treatment that can restore a more youthful appearance when chemical peels and injectables fail, helping patients to overcome the effects of gravity by lifting and defining facial contours.
However, though a facelift offers exceptional results, it is more invasive than other anti-aging techniques. During a traditional facelift, the skin on your face is lifted and the facial muscles underneath are tightened. The skin is then redraped, erasing years from your face. As with any surgery, there will be side effects that you should be aware of so you understand what to expect.
If you are seeking expert advice, Dr. Craig Foster in Manhattan is well-versed in facelifts and facelift side effects. He can explain your facelift options and discuss the typical side effects and recovery associated with each.
Of course, side effects and risks are greatly minimized when a facelift is performed by a skilled plastic surgeon. Dr. Foster is a recognized expert in the field of plastic surgery and has been profiled in various media outlets and numerous publications, including The View, Vogue, More, Elle, Glamour, W, and others. He is also double board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery as well as Otolaryngology.
Facelift Side Effects
Facelifts are considered a relatively safe surgery, particularly when done by an experienced plastic surgeon. In addition, most side effects are temporary and fade early in recovery. Patients also play a role in reducing side effects by carefully following pre-and post-operative instructions.
Common facelift side effects include:
- Swelling. The amount of swelling after a facelift can come as a surprise, but it begins to decrease within days of surgery.
- Pain. Most patients report little discomfort, however, you will be given pain medication.
- Bruising. This is most noticeable immediately after surgery. It subsides within a week or two and usually disappears in three to four weeks.
- Numbness. This is common and generally occurs along the incision lines. It should fade within a few days.
- Scarring. Surgical incisions leave scars. However, with a facelift, most of the incisions are hidden in unobtrusive locations, such as in the hairline. In addition, the scars eventually turn a pale white.
Other, rare, facelift side effects include:
- Hematoma. This is when blood pools under the skin. It will require a doctor’s care to avoid complications. Hematoma risk can be reduced by avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs before surgery.
- Facial Nerve Injury. The risk for nerve injury is greater with more invasive procedures, but typically the risk is low and the damage is usually temporary.
- Hair Loss. This can occur along incision lines, but is rare and usually temporary.
- Skin Discoloration. This also is a rare condition, but when it occurs it can last for several months.
- Skin Death. This is a rare condition, but smoking can increase the chance of it occurring.
There are also other side effects that are common to most surgeries, including: reaction to anesthesia, infection, and bleeding.
If you are considering a facelift, the next step should be a personal consultation with a plastic surgeon. Dr. Foster can discuss the type of facelifts that are appropriate for you and their side effects.