There is no such thing as a risk-free surgery, not even one that is medically necessary. Facial plastic surgery is a delicate practice that must only be performed by an experienced, board certified facial plastic surgeon who can deliver satisfactory results. The right surgeon can lower your risks for harmful side effects and post-surgical complications. If you know how to prepare, you can avoid these common recovery problems after your facelift surgery.
Excessive Swelling After Facelift Surgery
Swelling is a common side effect of facelift surgery and a true sign of healing within the body. After your surgery, you will see the worst swelling on your second, third, and possibly fourth day of recovery. Somewhere during the first week post-surgery, you should see your swelling gradually subsiding. If your face hasn’t started to go back to its normal size by then, you may be having a healing issue.
To prevent excessive swelling, make sure you are keeping your head elevated at all times, even when you sleep or lie on the couch. Keeping your head at an angle will reduce blood flow to your face and alleviate some of the pressure that causes swelling. Your facial plastic surgeon may also advise other anti-swelling measures like cold compresses, so make sure to follow his instructions clearly.
Allergic Reactions to Anesthetics or Medication
Many prospective patients worry about being “put to sleep” under anesthetics for a facelift surgery. Although the safe methods and types of anesthetics used have improved throughout the years, allergic reactions can occur. If you have a history of allergies, you must discuss your health with your facial plastic surgeon during your facelift consultation. It could affect the anesthetic he uses and the medication he prescribes to you. Be sure to include any adverse reactions you’ve had to medications in the past including nausea and vomiting, hives and rashes, trouble breathing, heart palpitations, and extreme drowsiness. These could all be indicators of an allergy to a particular type of medicine.
Visible Post-Surgical Scars
Every surgery will leave behind incision marks which heal over as scars. Placing these incisions in well-hidden areas of the face can help cut down on their visibility once you have healed. Many facial plastic surgeons will place them in the natural skin folds around the ears or along the hairline so they aren’t obvious. Sometimes, however, scars can’t be well-hidden and may be visible for a long time after surgery. They can be raised, darker in pigment, and even grow beyond the incised area to form a keloid scar. Following your facial plastic surgeon’s advice for proper after-care is the best strategy for avoiding highly visible scarring. Once you have healed completely, other skincare methods and treatments can be used to reduce the appearance of any scars you have.
Damage to the Facial Nerves
The human face contains many nerve endings that all work together to create the sensations and sensitivity of the skin. Damage to the nerves can be a side effect of any surgery, from facelifts to tummy tucks. It is normal to feel some numbness and tingling after surgery, which may take months to fully subside as the nerves heal and regrow. Some pinching and tightness are also normal sensations to experience. If you have concerns that your facial nerves are damaged, talk to your facial plastic surgeon right away. There are measures that can be taken to restore some of the nerves.
Minimizing any potential for such damage starts with a smart choice of facial plastic surgeon to perform your facelift surgery. He will have the skilled hands, know-how, and experience needed to perform your facelift procedure more smoothly and safely. If you’re concerned about nerve damage, talk with your surgeon about nerve problems experienced by his past patients or read their reviews of his work online.
Choose an Expert Facial Plastic Surgeon to Perform a Smooth, Successful Facelift
If you’d like to learn more about how to have a safe and effective facelift surgery, consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon today. Dr. Philip Miller has specialized exclusively in facial plastic surgery, offering over 20 years of experience and knowledge to his patients. A recognized expert in facial rejuvenation procedures, Dr. Miller has been frequently invited to share his specific techniques with his peers at various national facial plastic surgery meetings. He has been voted among the Best Doctors in America each year since 2007 and has also been named a Top Doctor of New York. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Miller, contact his office located at 60 East 56th Street, Third Floor in New York City, by calling (212) 750-7100.