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The Side Effects of Face Lift

By Peter Fisher, MD on June 19, 2017


A woman touching her faceWe have helped countless people in and around the greater San Antonio area look younger and more refreshed thanks to the latest in facial plastic surgery procedures. The face lift is one of the most popular and effective surgeries by far, able to reduce wrinkles and fight signs of aging.

Many patients ask us about the surgical process, post-op recovery, and what it entails. Let's take a moment to consider the side effects of a face lift.

Side Effects Are Part of the Healing Process

Side effects are a natural part of the healing process. They are a sign that your body is healing properly and responding to the surgery that was performed. Side effects should not be confused with complications, which are a sign of poor healing and require immediate medical attention.

During the consultation process, you will receive ample information about the recovery and healing process, including a detailed rundown of the side effects from face lift surgery. Below are some of the most common side effects and what patients can do about them when they arise.

Pain and Discomfort

Soreness after surgery is to be expected, particularly in the first days after surgery. The discomfort the patient experiences will typically abate over the course of a few days. Surgeons will prescribe pain relievers that the patient can take if the discomfort is extreme or pronounced. Getting ample rest early on and keeping the upper body properly elevated can help reduce the amount of pain experienced.

Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling are both common parts of post-operative healing. The bruising will appear around the incision sites and any portions of the face where adjustments were made. Swelling will affect the middle portion of the face, the hairline where incisions were made, and possibly the eye area as well. Bruising typically lasts for about two weeks. Major swelling lasts for the first two weeks, with additional residual swelling lasting for around two weeks after that; minor swelling may last for several weeks more.

The best way to fight bruising and swelling is to use cold compresses as directed. This can keep the discoloration and swelling down and also alleviate pain. Walking just a bit each day can also help promote circulation and help improve the overall healing process.

Tingling and Numbness

After surgery, patients may notice numbness o tingling along the incisions and in certain areas of the face. This is a normal response to nerves being affected by the surgery. These issues will be most noticeable in the first weeks after surgery. As the months pass and as patients fully recover, numbness and tingling should become less and less of an issue.

Post-Surgical Scarring

Scarring is bound to happen after any sort of surgery has been performed. With a face lift, the incisions are generally well hidden around the edges of the hairline and behind the ears. The surgical scars will slowly fade over time, making it even more difficult for people to notice that you have undergone a facial rejuvenation procedure.

Learn More About Facial Plastic Surgery

For more information about enhancing your appearance by eliminating wrinkles and signs of advanced age, be sure to contact our cosmetic plastic surgery center today. Our team looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.

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Dr. Fisher has been available to answer all of my questions and provide me with not only professional medical expertise, but also a much appreciated level of personal empathy. I would 100% recommend Dr. Fisher to anyone who is considering plastic surgery.

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