Side Effects from Facelift Surgery

Although it may not be possible to stop the aging process, you can combat the signs of aging with the help of an experienced plastic surgeon. Of the many cosmetic procedures offered at our Edina office, one of the best treatments to rejuvenate your appearance is through a facelift. Through facelift surgery, patients can expect a significant reduction in facial lines and wrinkles, but they should also know what to expect during recovery. To better prepare you for your facelift, here are the common side effects you may experience after your procedure.

Immediately after facelift surgery

Because intravenous sedation or general anesthesia has been administered, you can expect some brief side-effects upon waking. Nausea, grogginess, and lightheadedness are common effects that should gradually dissipate. Although you will likely feel some discomfort at this time, your doctor can prescribe pain medication to ease your recovery over the first few days.

Procedure side effects

The side effects following a facelift are similar to those of other plastic surgery treatments, and will subside in the following days or weeks. Bear in mind that these effects will likely have a negative, albeit temporary, impact on your appearance; rest assured that they will subside, and you will soon see the benefits of your renewed look.

  • Swelling: The most common side effect of a facelift, along with other cosmetic surgeries, is swelling. To reduce swelling, try to avoid bending over or engaging in any activity that could increase your blood pressure. Sleeping and resting in an upright position will also help. Your swelling should decrease within a couple of days, and should resolve drastically within two weeks.
  • Bruising: Bruising should be expected during the early stages of recovery, persisting no longer than two or three weeks in most cases. Bruising may be more prevalent in areas where the skin is thinner, such as around the eyes.
  • Discomfort: As your incisions heal and your face recovers from the lift surgery, you can expect a small degree of pain and tenderness. This pain is surprisingly mild for many patients, though you will be prescribed appropriate medication to deal with your own level of discomfort.
  • Scarring: You can expect your incisions to leave scars as they heal, most notably within the first few months. However, facelifts provide the added benefit of only leaving incisions around the hairline, allowing patients to easily conceal their scars.

Potential risks

Assuming your surgery does not result in further complications, your side effects will be limited to those noted above. While a facelift is one of safest plastic surgery procedures, it still carries certain risks.

  • Hematoma: As opposed to a normal bruise, it is possible for additional bleeding to develop under the skin, resulting in significantly greater discoloration, pain, and swelling. If you suspect you have a hematoma, visit your doctor at the earliest available opportunity to get it assessed.
  • Infection: Increased or prolonged swelling, pain, and redness around your incision may be indications of an infection. Even if you are taking antibiotics, contact your doctor if you believe an infection is present.
  • Nerve injury: During the course of your surgery, facial nerves may suffer damage, resulting in soreness, numbness, or inhibited movement. This injury is temporary for a majority of patients.
  • Hair or skin loss: This is a rare complication for patients, and is often mild.

Schedule a consultation

To thoroughly understand how a facelift will affect you, including its benefits, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kovanda here. We look forward to assisting you with any of your questions concerning our revitalizing cosmetic treatments.

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