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Raval Facial Aesthetics Blog

What are the Possible Risks of Facelift Surgery?

Posted by Amy Raval on Jun 30, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Surgical procedures like a facelift have great results with the risk of rare complications, including:

  • An unsatisfactory result
  • Bleeding and/or infection
  • Hematoma, and 
  • Nerve damage

While most risks recede during the post-operative healing process, it is important for patients of surgery to familiarize themselves with risks and consult an experienced surgeon to further reduce them.

UNSATISFACTORY RESULT (Risks of Facelift Surgery)

Even though a surgeon does their best, sometimes a patient is unsatisfied with the result of the facelift. In keeping a natural look, there is the slight risk that your surgery will not reach perfection. Some wrinkling may remain. The risk of an unsatisfactory result is greatly reduced if a patient is able to manage their expectations of surgery with their doctor.

BLEEDING AND/OR INFECTION (Risks of Facelift Surgery)

Due to the invasive nature of the facelift procedure, there is the risk of bleeding or infection. Before, during, and after your procedure, an experienced surgeon will do his or her best to ensure that these risks are minimized. This includes getting medical clearance from a patient’s primary care physician prior to the procedure, using meticulous sterile techniques with vigilant hemostasis during the surgery, and providing a caring follow-up during the post-operative period.

HEMATOMA (Risks of Facelift Surgery)

Hematoma is the collection of blood under the skin. This blood collection can be an emergency since it may restrict the airway, making it difficult to breathe, and requiring surgery as soon as possible. Less than 5% of patients experience hematoma. Dr. Raval mitigates this risk by using meticulous hemostasis during the surgery and placing drains in the neck that are removed one to two days after surgery.

NERVE DAMAGE (Risks of Facelift Surgery)

There are two kinds of possible nerve damage after a facelift procedure. Sensory nerve damage can numb the surgical area for a few weeks and up to 6 months. In rare cases does numbness persist indefinitely.

Motor nerve damage affects the movement of the face. Damage to the nerve that moves the lower lip is most common and can lead to a crooked smile in less than 1% of patients. Full facial movement usually returns within a few weeks.


You can learn more about the risks of facelift surgery by consulting with an trusted surgeon who may help reduce risks with years of experience.

For a more complete list of rare complications, you can download a copy of our consent form or call (303) 381-3223 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Raval.

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Topics: Facelifts