Risks of a Facelift


We’ve started this series talking about facelifts and we’re going to continue with a few other questions that are commonly asked about facelifts. Who’s a good candidate? What does the facelift entail? Does it include the neck? We’ve asked this and answer those questions already but a big question is always, what are the risks with a facelift? Well, again it depends. Depends upon experience. It depends upon what kind of facelift is being done.

It depends upon other medical risk factors. It depends upon whether you’ve had a facelift done in the past and this is a secondary or a third facelift. Depends upon if there’s been scar tissue or other trauma. A lot of these answers will depend on your history. Depend upon what other factors but in general let me say that facelifts are very very very safe procedures – scary course because it’s your face and you can’t hide it very easily but facelifts tend to be very very common and very very safe procedures of course done in the correct hands.

Part of the risk of a facelift would be risk associated with any kind of surgical procedure: bleeding, infection wound healing, the reality of is faces heals so well that those kind of complications are exceedingly rare in the hands of a surgeon that knows what he’s doing and does this routinely. Other more serious or devastating risk could possibly be things like damage to deeper structures nerves and muscles.

That’s a big scary one. Suffice it to say fortunately in 22 years of practice I’ve never had something that had been a long-term or even a very short-term deficit related to nerve or muscle issues. Again, it depends upon what kind of facelift. The facelift that we do here at The Center that I’ve done with most routinely tends to be a fairly safe facelift in a fairly easy one to heal from without the likelihood of getting into nerve problems or muscle problems.

Risks of a Facelift
Risks of a Facelift

Now there may be reasons to do those kinds of facelifts and those of these particular discussions that surgeon and a patient would have to have. What kind do you need and there are reasons to do them and not do them but in general facelifts are very very safe procedures. What other kinds of risk? Well, are you going to have scars that are acceptable? We talked about this a little bit last time. The scars for this procedure are almost imperceptible to the point where most people would never see them even your hairstylist may not even see the incisions. They tend to heal that well if they’re designed correctly. What other kind of risks? Well, again people want to look natural.

There’s this stigma of I’ve had a facelift; I look windswept or pulled back too tight, or artificial, that is definitely not the kind of facelift that I do or that most people want to achieve. Most people want to look natural now if you look natural but twenty years younger great but you still want to look natural. Everything has to blend together in order for the result to look proportional and natural. Natural doesn’t mean minimal natural just means natural but that’s another critical component and that has to do with the artistry of the surgeon.

This is in part art in its judgment and it’s experience in order to get a result that will achieve what the patient wants to help somebody look 10, 15, even 20 years younger or more importantly to corrects laxity problems: jowell, neck, creases, skin texture, and tone all those kinds of things can be addressed with a facelift hoping and anticipating that everything blends together at the end. So those are the risks.

Things typically seen with surgery: bleeding, infection, wound healing problems very very very rare, specifically scars again very very rare damage to deeper structures almost unheard of in experienced hands. Natural that’s what we’re looking for. If you want to see some examples go to our website. If you have some more specific questions about the risk and you want to talk with me, come on in, we’d love to see you.


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