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Risks of Face Lift Surgery

Posted Mar 03 2010 7:41pm

There are certain risks and complications in having any surgery.  Face lift surgery is generally considered to be a safe procedure, but you should always know the risks and make a well informed decision before undergoing any type of surgical procedure.

Specific Risks of Face Lift Surgery

There are some risks that are specific to having this type of surgery.  Most of them are usually only temporary and commonly disappear over time.  There is a risk of scarring, damage to the nerves that control the face muscles, numbness or tingling around the incision area, scabs forming on the incisions, hair and skin loss which is rare, and skin discoloration which can last several months but is also rare.  For people who smoke, there can be delayed healing of the incisions.

Some Common Postoperative Complications of Face Lift Surgery

Postoperative complications can occur even with procedures that are considered safe.  There are always risks when undergoing anesthesia during surgery, and many patients wake up after anesthesia with a feeling of malaise and nausea. This generally resolves within an hour or two.

Postoperatively you can expect some light bleeding, but too much bleeding can be dangerous and can also cause hematomas under the skin.  If these develop the area will be swollen and painful and will usually require further surgery to stop the seepage of blood and remove the hematoma.

Every surgery has risks of infection.  Infection can be uncomfortable and dangerous if left untreated.  Signs of infection include redness, swelling, fever and warmth at incision sites. This is generally treated with antibiotics.

Scarring Related to Face Lift Surgery

Like all surgeries there are risks of scarring when having a face lift surgery.  The highly advanced techniques used in current procedures help minimize scarring more than ever. There will be incisions around your face in various regions depending on what procedure you are having.  Incisions are commonly behind the ears and under the chin.

Scars begin to fade in a few weeks following the surgery and should fade to the point that they can no longer be detected after a few months.

The risks of face lift surgery should be discussed with you in detail by the surgeon. You should ask questions to be sure you understand completely what to expect before, during and after the procedure.  You can minimize many concerns by being well informed and by choosing the right cosmetic surgeon.

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