The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for any given patient can only be determined at the time of consultation. As with all surgical procedures, however, there is some degree of risk. When facelift surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are typically considered infrequent and minor. There are certain factors which may put you at an increased risk for complications. Be sure to advise your doctor if you have any medical problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure, if you are on any medications, if you smoke, or if you have previously had surgeries on or near the areas to be treated. It is important to avoid certain drugs before and after surgery, such as aspirin, which interfere with the normal clotting of blood. You can reduce your risks by selecting a qualified plastic surgeon, and by carefully following his or her instructions both before and after surgery.
Possible risks or complications associated with facelift surgery may include the following:
- Allergic reactions.
- Anesthesia reactions.
- Asymmetry. Sides of the face may be lacking in symmetry, or not identical on both sides.
- Excessive scarring.
- Hematoma . A collection of blood which accumulates beneath the skin .
- Improper healing. Far more likely to occur with smokers.
- Nerve injury. Generally involving injury to the nerves which control the facial muscles, though usually temporary.
This page discusses facelift surgery risks and provides comprehensive information. The site includes more about surgeons, stories, and the procedure.
A Note On Smoking-Associated Risks:
If you’re a smoker, it’s particularly important that you stop smoking for at least two weeks before and after surgery. Because smoking significantly reduces your body’s circulation and vascularity, smokers generally heal slower and increase their risk of other complications such as necrosis (skin death), scarring, and skin loss.
Surgical scars are permanent. Though you may initially feel self-conscious of your scars, the incisions for facelift surgery are generally placed in areas which allow for minimal hidden scars, such as within the hairline or the natural creases of the face and ears.