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What to Expect: Facelift Side Effects

By dustinheringer on July 30, 2016


A woman's face with facelift arrows drawn on itOver time, the aging process can result in facial wrinkles and creases. For some, non-surgical treatments are enough to slow the hands of time. But, when these methods are no longer able to provide the desired results, or a more permanent solution is desired, it may be time to consider facelift surgery. Facelift surgery can help patients achieve a more youthful appearance by tightening sagging facial skin and smoothing unwanted lines and wrinkles. Although facelift surgery is safe, there are some side effects to be aware of when considering this treatment. For more information about facelift side effects, schedule a consultation with Scottsdale, AZ plastic surgeon Dustin Heringer.

The Potential Side Effects of Facelift Surgery

Facelift surgery is a relatively safe procedure, however, patients should expect to experience some minor side effects after treatment and as the body heals. Side effects will vary based on individual factors, like level of health and personal healing times. Although each patient's recovery is unique to the individual, some potential side effects to be aware of when preparing to undergo facelift surgery include:

  • Pain: Most patients can expect to feel some pain or discomfort after facelift surgery. Any pain felt after surgery can generally be alleviated with pain medication as prescribed by your surgeon. Pain should subside as the body heals. However, if pain develops suddenly, worsens, or feels severe, it may be an indication of an infection or other complication and should be brought to your surgeon's attention immediately.
  • Swelling: Swelling is another common side effect of facelift surgery and is a normal part of the healing process. Swelling is typically most noticeable during the first few days of recovery and should begin to subside as recovery progresses. Gently applying clean, cold compresses can help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort. As with pain, if swelling becomes worse, it may be an indication of infection or other complication and should be brought to your surgeon's attention. 
  • Bruising: Bruising can also be expected after undergoing the facelift procedure. Depending on the type of facelift performed, bruising may be more or less apparent. Full facelifts, which include a brow lift, may result in more noticeable bruising than a mini facelift. Regardless, bruising is normal and should fade within a few weeks.
  • Scarring: Although steps are taken during facelift surgery to hide incisions, scarring may still occur. The level of scarring will depend on each person's likelihood of scarring, that is how easily a person develops scars. With that said, scars are generally mild after facelift surgery and tend to fade over time.
  • Numbness: In rare cases, some patients may experience temporary numbness around the incision sites after surgery. Feeling generally returns within a few days. In rare cases, numbness may be permanent.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Heringer

Facelift surgery can rejuvenate your appearance and boost your confidence. For more information about facelift surgery, or to discuss alternative facial rejuvenation treatment options, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer.

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