43 doctors weighed in:
How severe is the pain of a facelift?
43 doctors weighed in

Dr. Mike Bowman
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
12 doctors agree
In brief: Should be mild
Your facial plastic surgeon can give you details on what to expect, but the discomfort is usually mild and relatively short lived.
Severe pain, especially if associated with swelling, after facelift may be sign of a serious problem and you should report this to your surgeon asap.

In brief: Should be mild
Your facial plastic surgeon can give you details on what to expect, but the discomfort is usually mild and relatively short lived.
Severe pain, especially if associated with swelling, after facelift may be sign of a serious problem and you should report this to your surgeon asap.
Dr. Mike Bowman
Dr. Mike Bowman
Thank
4 comments
Dr. Jeffrey Pollard
Significant pain may represent infection or a collection of blood/fluid under the skin (hematoma). Both are rare, but should be discussed/evaluated by your surgeon without delay. Make sure that you have contact information for your surgeon ahead of time in case of an emergency.
Dr. Patrick Melder
A face lift is literally peeling the skin and deeper skin structures off deeper structures. In doing this, many sensory nerve fibers are cut. Facelift is rarely painful and the nerve fibers regenerate with full function with time.
Dr. Brian Maloney
Surgery - Plastics
5 doctors agree
In brief: Pain after Facelift
One of the great things about performing facial plastic surgery is that there is generally little pain.
In fact if a patient complains of a lot of pain, it makes the surgeon suspicious of developing a hematoma.

In brief: Pain after Facelift
One of the great things about performing facial plastic surgery is that there is generally little pain.
In fact if a patient complains of a lot of pain, it makes the surgeon suspicious of developing a hematoma.
Dr. Brian Maloney
Dr. Brian Maloney
Thank
Dr. Jeffrey Pollard
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
5 doctors agree
In brief: Minimal
In my experience of over 1000 facelifts, patients have only mild to moderate "discomfort" which is not your typical "incisional" style of pain after most types of surgery.
With a facelift, there is some regional numbness that is temporary and helps keep pain at a minimum. Most of my patients take prescription strength pain medication for 1-2 days and then switch to plain tylenol (acetaminophen). Hope this helps!

In brief: Minimal
In my experience of over 1000 facelifts, patients have only mild to moderate "discomfort" which is not your typical "incisional" style of pain after most types of surgery.
With a facelift, there is some regional numbness that is temporary and helps keep pain at a minimum. Most of my patients take prescription strength pain medication for 1-2 days and then switch to plain tylenol (acetaminophen). Hope this helps!
Dr. Jeffrey Pollard
Dr. Jeffrey Pollard
Thank
Dr. Ronald Shelton
Dermatology
4 doctors agree
In brief: Facelift recovery
Many of my patients who underwent a facelift by a plastic surgeon have not mentioned pain as a signficant factor. Usually it is the swelling and bruising that upsets them and this can be minimal in some people.
The tightness lessens and feels more comfortable soon after the procedure.

In brief: Facelift recovery
Many of my patients who underwent a facelift by a plastic surgeon have not mentioned pain as a signficant factor. Usually it is the swelling and bruising that upsets them and this can be minimal in some people.
The tightness lessens and feels more comfortable soon after the procedure.
Dr. Ronald Shelton
Dr. Ronald Shelton
Thank
Dr. Barry Press
Surgery - Plastics
3 doctors agree
In brief: Shouldn't be bad
Postop facelift pain should be easily controlled with something like vicodin.
If it is not, you need to contact your surgeon, as this may signify a complication such as postoperative bleeding.

In brief: Shouldn't be bad
Postop facelift pain should be easily controlled with something like vicodin.
If it is not, you need to contact your surgeon, as this may signify a complication such as postoperative bleeding.
Dr. Barry Press
Dr. Barry Press
Thank
Dr. Alan Durkin
Surgery - Plastics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Minimal
There is very little discomfort associated with face lifting procedures.
Most patients will experience some neck tightness, but this quickly resolves.

In brief: Minimal
There is very little discomfort associated with face lifting procedures.
Most patients will experience some neck tightness, but this quickly resolves.
Dr. Alan Durkin
Dr. Alan Durkin
Thank
Dr. Brock Ridenour
Surgery - Plastics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Very mild
Most patients are pleasantly surprised at the relatively modest discomfort they experience following facelift.
In fact, many patients will take only tylenol (acetaminophen) or nothing at all following the procedure. Severe pain is so unusual as to suggest a complicaton such as bleeding and should be brought to attention of your surgeon right away.

In brief: Very mild
Most patients are pleasantly surprised at the relatively modest discomfort they experience following facelift.
In fact, many patients will take only tylenol (acetaminophen) or nothing at all following the procedure. Severe pain is so unusual as to suggest a complicaton such as bleeding and should be brought to attention of your surgeon right away.
Dr. Brock Ridenour
Dr. Brock Ridenour
Thank
Dr. Michael Kulick
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Pain of a facelift?
Hello, While pain is concern, in my patient's experience, this is not an issue.
Most patients that receive medication for pain after surgery do not use this medication. They take over the counter Tylenol (acetaminophen). A great deal depends on how the doctor preforms the procedure and how many other procedures you have at the same time as your facelift. But, why are you considering a facelift at 34?

In brief: Pain of a facelift?
Hello, While pain is concern, in my patient's experience, this is not an issue.
Most patients that receive medication for pain after surgery do not use this medication. They take over the counter Tylenol (acetaminophen). A great deal depends on how the doctor preforms the procedure and how many other procedures you have at the same time as your facelift. But, why are you considering a facelift at 34?
Dr. Michael Kulick
Dr. Michael Kulick
Thank
Dr. Suzanne Galli
Facial Plastic Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Facelift pain
During surgery, a facelift surgeon uses local anesthesia to control pain.
As this wears off, the patient may experience some pain but this experience varies between patients. Some people require narcotic pain relievers after surgery while others only need over the counter products.

In brief: Facelift pain
During surgery, a facelift surgeon uses local anesthesia to control pain.
As this wears off, the patient may experience some pain but this experience varies between patients. Some people require narcotic pain relievers after surgery while others only need over the counter products.
Dr. Suzanne Galli
Dr. Suzanne Galli
Thank
Dr. Richard Galitz
Facial Plastic Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Facelift pain
Most of my facelift patients never use a pain pill and almost never complain of pain as a concern of their recovery.
The majority use a little tylenol (acetaminophen) extra strength and some ice packs for a few days. Overall a very minimally painful surgery.

In brief: Facelift pain
Most of my facelift patients never use a pain pill and almost never complain of pain as a concern of their recovery.
The majority use a little tylenol (acetaminophen) extra strength and some ice packs for a few days. Overall a very minimally painful surgery.
Dr. Richard Galitz
Dr. Richard Galitz
Thank
Dr. Tanveer Janjua
Facial Plastic Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Facelift not painful
Facelift if done properly is not painful but more uncomfortable.
Most patients find it to be a sensation of tightness and uncomfortable to find a good sleeping position the first night because of the bulky dressing. Obviously the pain tolerance varies for individuals. After the first 24 hours there is minimal need for strong pain medications.

In brief: Facelift not painful
Facelift if done properly is not painful but more uncomfortable.
Most patients find it to be a sensation of tightness and uncomfortable to find a good sleeping position the first night because of the bulky dressing. Obviously the pain tolerance varies for individuals. After the first 24 hours there is minimal need for strong pain medications.
Dr. Tanveer Janjua
Dr. Tanveer Janjua
Thank
Dr. Alan Durkin
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Minimal
Facelifts in our facility complain of very little discomfort.
There is a tightening sensation felt in the neck area following surgery, but this relaxes quickly over the first week. Abject surgical pain, however, is very uncommon as a complaint.

In brief: Minimal
Facelifts in our facility complain of very little discomfort.
There is a tightening sensation felt in the neck area following surgery, but this relaxes quickly over the first week. Abject surgical pain, however, is very uncommon as a complaint.
Dr. Alan Durkin
Dr. Alan Durkin
Thank
Dr. Francisco Agullo
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Mild
Should be mild. Most patients complain of the swelling and bruising.

In brief: Mild
Should be mild. Most patients complain of the swelling and bruising.
Dr. Francisco Agullo
Dr. Francisco Agullo
Thank
Dr. Brock Ridenour
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Not severe at all
Facelift operations are not very painful.
Facelifts are more likely to be associated with temporary numbness in certain locations such as around the ears, in the scalp and under the chin.

In brief: Not severe at all
Facelift operations are not very painful.
Facelifts are more likely to be associated with temporary numbness in certain locations such as around the ears, in the scalp and under the chin.
Dr. Brock Ridenour
Dr. Brock Ridenour
Thank
Dr. Gustavo Diaz
Facial Plastic Surgery
In brief: Mild
Pain after facelift surgery depends on the pain threshold that each person has.
Be realistic with your interpretation of pain. Generally pain should be mild to intermediate and be helped by the pain medication. Extreme swelling with pain and hardness of an area will require you to call your surgeon for an evaluation as soon as possible.

In brief: Mild
Pain after facelift surgery depends on the pain threshold that each person has.
Be realistic with your interpretation of pain. Generally pain should be mild to intermediate and be helped by the pain medication. Extreme swelling with pain and hardness of an area will require you to call your surgeon for an evaluation as soon as possible.
Dr. Gustavo Diaz
Dr. Gustavo Diaz
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Darryl Blinski
Depends upon the extent of the chosen FL operation.
Dr. Humberto Palladino
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Not too painful
Facelift is more uncomfortable than painful.
In fact your face will likely be numb for a few months after surgery. Swelling and bruising are often worse than pain. These last two resolve rather quickly (2-3 wks).

In brief: Not too painful
Facelift is more uncomfortable than painful.
In fact your face will likely be numb for a few months after surgery. Swelling and bruising are often worse than pain. These last two resolve rather quickly (2-3 wks).
Dr. Humberto Palladino
Dr. Humberto Palladino
Thank
Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Minimal discomfort
When a facelift is properly performed there is hardly any discomfort.

In brief: Minimal discomfort
When a facelift is properly performed there is hardly any discomfort.
Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal
Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal
Thank
Dr. Frederick Coville
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Swelling not pain
Most of my patients don't really complain of pain after a facelift, but the swelling is always a concern.
Prescription pain meds for a few days and then otc works very well.

In brief: Swelling not pain
Most of my patients don't really complain of pain after a facelift, but the swelling is always a concern.
Prescription pain meds for a few days and then otc works very well.
Dr. Frederick Coville
Dr. Frederick Coville
Thank
Dr. David Sherris
Facial Plastic Surgery
In brief: Not severe
As facelift is the movement of skin and soft tissue only the associated post operative pain is not typically severe.

In brief: Not severe
As facelift is the movement of skin and soft tissue only the associated post operative pain is not typically severe.
Dr. David Sherris
Dr. David Sherris
Thank
Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Tolerable
Although every one varies in their response, most facelift patients tolerate the procedure with mild to moderate pain.
Most dislike the initial compression garments worn for the first 24 hours, if employed. Some even are more bothered by the numbness in front of the ears.

In brief: Tolerable
Although every one varies in their response, most facelift patients tolerate the procedure with mild to moderate pain.
Most dislike the initial compression garments worn for the first 24 hours, if employed. Some even are more bothered by the numbness in front of the ears.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
Thank
Dr. Todd Sisto
Breast Surgery
In brief: Not severe
Many use no pain medicine.

In brief: Not severe
Many use no pain medicine.
Dr. Todd Sisto
Dr. Todd Sisto
Thank
Dr. Darab Hormozi
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Depends
A life style lift can be quite painless.
Some patients report no pain at all. Some swelling and bruising is natural and expected. A deep facelift in the other hand can be quite painful for several days.

In brief: Depends
A life style lift can be quite painless.
Some patients report no pain at all. Some swelling and bruising is natural and expected. A deep facelift in the other hand can be quite painful for several days.
Dr. Darab Hormozi
Dr. Darab Hormozi
Thank
Dr. Alan Chen
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Depends
Pain is relative.
However, most patients who undergo facelift do not report severe pain.

In brief: Depends
Pain is relative.
However, most patients who undergo facelift do not report severe pain.
Dr. Alan Chen
Dr. Alan Chen
Thank
Read more answers from doctors