A face lift is a major surgical procedure. It takes a large portion of your face and redrapes it into a wrinkle-free shape. If performed with other procedures such as a chin implant, a cheek implant, a brow lift or a blepharoplasty, the complication risk increases. Surgical face lifts normally have great outcomes with minimal complications and side effects. However, if the face has very little elasticity or if there are several severe wrinkles, the face lift may not turn out as predicted or desired.
The face lift is performed by making an incision into the hair line and behind or in front of the ear. The skin is separated from the fat and underlying tissue and excess fat is removed. Any loose muscles are tightened and the skin is redraped over the face and the excess skin is trimmed away. Then the remaining skin is sutured back to the original suture line, which is hidden beneath the hair.
Minor face lift complications however are fairly common. Just about everyone gets some degree of swelling and bruising initially, which will slowly subside and resolve. There can be some external bleeding or hematoma formation. Hematomas are blood clots that form beneath the tissue and skin. It forms a lump that can be removed with heat compresses, or in certain cases, surgically. Hematomas start out as hard but then soften as the red blood cells are broken down naturally by the body. The serum within the hematoma can be evacuated with a needle.
Infection is possible with a face lift, although it is uncommon. Infections may present as redness, crusting and pain, with some resulting in abscesses to form that require drainage. Antibiotics and abscess drainage are the best ways to manage these infections, which could result in asymmetry of the face or increased scarring./p>
Other face lift complications include personal satisfaction with the face lift results. The desired outcomes and expectations for your procedure will be discussed with you and your surgeon, to result in the best and ideal outcome for you.