Facelifts are a popular cosmetic procedure used to eliminate the signs of ageing. Thousands of facelifts are carried out each year in the UK, correcting sagging skin, wrinkles, and deep creases around the mouth.

While a facelift procedure is typically safe and effective, there are some risks involved. To ensure you make the right decision, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and complications you may encounter.

What are the complications of a facelift?

Improved techniques have made facelifts a lot safer over the past decade. However, there are some complications you need to be aware of. These include:

  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Temporary damage to the facial nerves
  • Infection
  • Numbness
  • Scarring
  • Hair loss around the incision site
  • Skin necrosis

Some of these complications are rarer than others. Bruising is common, and typically lasts up to 2-3 weeks, depending on the extent of surgery. Bleeding is unusual and measures such as the use of drains and drugs to tighten blood clotting are used to minimise the risk. Patients should take things very quietly for the initial 3 weeks to reduce the risk further.

Hair loss around the incision site and skin necrosis on the other hand, are quite rare. Incisions are very carefully placed in skin creases to minimise the risk of hair loss. Smoking and all nicotine products must be avoided for at least a month before and after surgery to avoid this risk.

Risks associated with the procedure

There are some risk factors that can increase the likelihood of you suffering complications after a facelift. They include those with serious medical issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, smokers, and blood thinners.

All patients should be in good physical and mental health. If you do have a medical condition, or you have diabetes and high blood pressure, the risks of the procedure will be increased. If you are a smoker, quitting before a facelift is essential.

If you are taking blood thinning medication, this will need to be stopped before the procedure and will be discussed at consultation as to whether this is possible or desirable.

Following your surgeon’s aftercare advice

If you want to avoid the risks and complications of a facelift, it is best to follow your surgeon’s advice. They will provide you with a list of aftercare instructions you’ll need to follow. This ensures a speedy, straightforward recovery.

You can learn more about the risks and complications of a facelift by booking a consultation with Mr Tulley today. During your consultation, you will undergo an assessment to ensure you are an ideal candidate. Your individual risks will be discussed, alongside any advice on how to minimise them.