25 doctors weighed in:
What kind of complications might happen from a facelift?
25 doctors weighed in

Dr. Lara Devgan
Surgery - Plastics
4 doctors agree
In brief: Several
A facelift is a safe procedure when performed by a skilled plastic surgeon.
Risks include bleeding/ hematoma, infection, nerve injury, scarring, asymmetry, wound healing problems, and need for revision operation. Discuss your individual risks with your plastic surgeon.

In brief: Several
A facelift is a safe procedure when performed by a skilled plastic surgeon.
Risks include bleeding/ hematoma, infection, nerve injury, scarring, asymmetry, wound healing problems, and need for revision operation. Discuss your individual risks with your plastic surgeon.
Dr. Lara Devgan
Dr. Lara Devgan
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Dr. Gustavo Diaz
Facial Plastic Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Several
When a facelift is done by a board certified facial plastic specialist, your risk should be minimal but still present.
Some of those risks can be bleeding, hematoma, infection, facial nerve damage or paralysis, asymmetry, decrease sensation of the area of surgery, scaring, and not obtaining the result that you expected. All of these complications can be explained in more detail during your consult

In brief: Several
When a facelift is done by a board certified facial plastic specialist, your risk should be minimal but still present.
Some of those risks can be bleeding, hematoma, infection, facial nerve damage or paralysis, asymmetry, decrease sensation of the area of surgery, scaring, and not obtaining the result that you expected. All of these complications can be explained in more detail during your consult
Dr. Gustavo Diaz
Dr. Gustavo Diaz
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Dr. Keimun Slaughter
Facial Plastic Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Various but rare
There are many complications which could happen after a facelift but are all fairly rare in general.
Bleeding, infection and necrosis of skin are more common complications. The most common would probably be patient dissatisfaction which can be prevented in the preoperative and consultation setting by managing expectations. Patient health conditions and medications can also lead to complications.

In brief: Various but rare
There are many complications which could happen after a facelift but are all fairly rare in general.
Bleeding, infection and necrosis of skin are more common complications. The most common would probably be patient dissatisfaction which can be prevented in the preoperative and consultation setting by managing expectations. Patient health conditions and medications can also lead to complications.
Dr. Keimun Slaughter
Dr. Keimun Slaughter
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Dr. Suzanne Galli
Facial Plastic Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Facelift risks
There are many different types of facelifts that carry different risks including bleeding, infection, nerve damage, scarring issues.
Your best bet would be to have your face evaluated by a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

In brief: Facelift risks
There are many different types of facelifts that carry different risks including bleeding, infection, nerve damage, scarring issues.
Your best bet would be to have your face evaluated by a board certified facial plastic surgeon.
Dr. Suzanne Galli
Dr. Suzanne Galli
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Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Surgery - Plastics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Possible events
A facelift is usually a very safe and well tolerated operation.
Bleeding, infection and anesthetic complications can happen, (thankfully rarely), in any operation. Facelift surgeons also need to be aware of nerve injury, and poor scarring. Best to speak with your experienced facelift surgeon. They will go into further detail. Together you will decide if the procedure is right for you.

In brief: Possible events
A facelift is usually a very safe and well tolerated operation.
Bleeding, infection and anesthetic complications can happen, (thankfully rarely), in any operation. Facelift surgeons also need to be aware of nerve injury, and poor scarring. Best to speak with your experienced facelift surgeon. They will go into further detail. Together you will decide if the procedure is right for you.
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
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Dr. Nima Shemirani
Facial Plastic Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Facelift risks
Dear beck60, the most common risk is bleeding or a hematoma, that occurs about 1-3% of the time.
Other risks include infection, abnormal scarring, little irregularities that smooth out, bruising and swelling. Nerve damage can occur, but thankfully the risk of permanent nerve damage is extremely small. Just to warn you, your cheeks will be numb for 6-8 wks.

In brief: Facelift risks
Dear beck60, the most common risk is bleeding or a hematoma, that occurs about 1-3% of the time.
Other risks include infection, abnormal scarring, little irregularities that smooth out, bruising and swelling. Nerve damage can occur, but thankfully the risk of permanent nerve damage is extremely small. Just to warn you, your cheeks will be numb for 6-8 wks.
Dr. Nima Shemirani
Dr. Nima Shemirani
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Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: Many
Infection, nerve damage, disfigurement, scarring, bleeding to name a few.
I bet there are other ones, less frequent and more specific to each individual and situation.

In brief: Many
Infection, nerve damage, disfigurement, scarring, bleeding to name a few.
I bet there are other ones, less frequent and more specific to each individual and situation.
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
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Dr. Michael Menachof
Facial Plastic Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Complications Rare
Overall, it is a very safe procedure when done by an experienced plastic/ facial plastic surgeon.
The main risks are hematoma (rare) and temporary facial weakness (very very rare).

In brief: Complications Rare
Overall, it is a very safe procedure when done by an experienced plastic/ facial plastic surgeon.
The main risks are hematoma (rare) and temporary facial weakness (very very rare).
Dr. Michael Menachof
Dr. Michael Menachof
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Dr. Richard Galitz
Facial Plastic Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Facelift problems
The major complication concern of a facelift is the method of anesthesia.
...Thats why I do all my facelifts under oral sedation and local infiltration anesthesia. Very minimal risk and very easy and comfortable surgery. The recovery period is also much easier. Bleeding and /or a hematoma is possible but a diligent surgeon can easily manage this problem. Overall a truly safe and easy procedure.

In brief: Facelift problems
The major complication concern of a facelift is the method of anesthesia.
...Thats why I do all my facelifts under oral sedation and local infiltration anesthesia. Very minimal risk and very easy and comfortable surgery. The recovery period is also much easier. Bleeding and /or a hematoma is possible but a diligent surgeon can easily manage this problem. Overall a truly safe and easy procedure.
Dr. Richard Galitz
Dr. Richard Galitz
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Dr. Adam Hamawy
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Facelift Risks
A facelift in experienced hands has a low risk of complications.
The most common is having a hematoma (or blood clot) collect under the skin that requires drainage. Next is scabbing of the skin around the incisions that may take a while to heal. Infections and nerve injuries are also possible although extremely rare.

In brief: Facelift Risks
A facelift in experienced hands has a low risk of complications.
The most common is having a hematoma (or blood clot) collect under the skin that requires drainage. Next is scabbing of the skin around the incisions that may take a while to heal. Infections and nerve injuries are also possible although extremely rare.
Dr. Adam Hamawy
Dr. Adam Hamawy
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Dr. George Yang
Facial Plastic Surgery
In brief: Hematoma, etc.
A hematoma is a collection of blood/clot under the skin.
Since a facelift essentially lifts up an area of skin, then excess skin is tailored out, before sewing the edges together, the space under skin can collect blood/clot. This is the most common complication. The short list is: bleeding, infection, numbness, facial paralysis, assymetry, poor cosmetic outcome, and possible revision surgery.

In brief: Hematoma, etc.
A hematoma is a collection of blood/clot under the skin.
Since a facelift essentially lifts up an area of skin, then excess skin is tailored out, before sewing the edges together, the space under skin can collect blood/clot. This is the most common complication. The short list is: bleeding, infection, numbness, facial paralysis, assymetry, poor cosmetic outcome, and possible revision surgery.
Dr. George Yang
Dr. George Yang
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Dr. Donald Yoo
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: A few possibilities
When performed properly facelift is a very safe operation.
However, as with any surgery, complications do exist. Hematoma, infection, scarring, hair loss and injury to nerves are possible complications. Again, in the right hands these are unlikely.

In brief: A few possibilities
When performed properly facelift is a very safe operation.
However, as with any surgery, complications do exist. Hematoma, infection, scarring, hair loss and injury to nerves are possible complications. Again, in the right hands these are unlikely.
Dr. Donald Yoo
Dr. Donald Yoo
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Dr. David Sherris
Facial Plastic Surgery
In brief: Risks
There are risks of every surgery including nausea from anesthesia, infection, swelling, bruising, numbness, blood clot, scarring, asymmetry, hair loss.
Much less likely are permanent numbness, or partial facial nerve paralysis. For complete explanation of the risks and benefits see a facial plastic surgeon for a consultation.

In brief: Risks
There are risks of every surgery including nausea from anesthesia, infection, swelling, bruising, numbness, blood clot, scarring, asymmetry, hair loss.
Much less likely are permanent numbness, or partial facial nerve paralysis. For complete explanation of the risks and benefits see a facial plastic surgeon for a consultation.
Dr. David Sherris
Dr. David Sherris
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Dr. Alan Durkin
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Rare, but possible
High volume facelift centers enjoy low complication rates.
Most commonly, postoperative bleeding with blood accumulation under skin. Next most common is infection with or without skin loss. Both of these occur with very limited frequency. Nerve damage is also possible, but very rare.

In brief: Rare, but possible
High volume facelift centers enjoy low complication rates.
Most commonly, postoperative bleeding with blood accumulation under skin. Next most common is infection with or without skin loss. Both of these occur with very limited frequency. Nerve damage is also possible, but very rare.
Dr. Alan Durkin
Dr. Alan Durkin
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Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Many but not common
Infection, hematoma, wound breakdown, hypertrophic/keloid scars, asymmetry, cicatricial alopecia, hairline displacement, numbness, pain, partial or complete, temporary or permanent, sensory and/or motor nerve injury, contour irregularity, recurrent laxity, over correction, under correction, need for subsequent secondary surgical revisionary procedures as well as other potential unforeseen problems.

In brief: Many but not common
Infection, hematoma, wound breakdown, hypertrophic/keloid scars, asymmetry, cicatricial alopecia, hairline displacement, numbness, pain, partial or complete, temporary or permanent, sensory and/or motor nerve injury, contour irregularity, recurrent laxity, over correction, under correction, need for subsequent secondary surgical revisionary procedures as well as other potential unforeseen problems.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
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Dr. John Hoffmann
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Variable but rare
Serious complications are rare after facelift.
The most common problem is bleeding or a hematoma- a collection of blood under the skin. Excessive scarring can occur along the incision lines - but this can usually be avoided with good techniques. Infection is rare. Nerve damage causing numbness or facial muscle weakness is quite rare with modern facelift sugery.

In brief: Variable but rare
Serious complications are rare after facelift.
The most common problem is bleeding or a hematoma- a collection of blood under the skin. Excessive scarring can occur along the incision lines - but this can usually be avoided with good techniques. Infection is rare. Nerve damage causing numbness or facial muscle weakness is quite rare with modern facelift sugery.
Dr. John Hoffmann
Dr. John Hoffmann
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