As long as people have the desire to look younger, there will forever be a debate as to the best way to eliminate wrinkles, fine lines and find their personal fountain of youth. This desire has created a trillion-dollar industry as well as associated facelift procedure risks, which continues to advance and improve the many options available to us.

With all the options we do have at our disposal, there is one decision you must make before even considering what procedure is best for you. The decision is done you want a non-surgical procedure, or one requiring surgery.

What are the Facelift Procedure Risks?

This post will cover surgical facelifts and the associated facelift procedure risks. If you are considering a non-surgical procedure, we have information on that as well for you. You can read What Non-Surgical Options Do Have? This outlines the basic anti-aging procedures available, their risks and their benefits.

As you are still reading, it’s a safe assumption that you are considering having a surgical facelift procedure, or rhytidoplasty as it is medically known. To understand the possible risks associated with any facelift procedure, you must first start with understanding what the procedure entails.

What is Facelift Surgery (Rhytidoplasty)?

A facelift is a surgical method that removes excess facial skin to make the face appear younger. However, the aging face not only loses skin elasticity and develops looser skin, but also loses fat and muscle tone. Additional procedures that may be necessary to achieve the best results include a neck lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), liposuction, autologous fat injection, removal of buccal (cheek) fat pad, forehead lift, browlift, chemical or laser peel, and malar (cheek), submalar or chin implants.

How are Facelift Surgeries Performed?

A traditional facelift procedure is performed through an incision starting in the hair or hairline above and in front of the ear. The incision is extended downward in front of the ear, comes under the ear and then upward behind the ear ending in the hair or hairline behind the ear. The skin and fatty tissues are then lifted off the underlying muscle and fascia as far forward as is necessary to correct the loose skin problem. The underlying muscle and fascia can be tightened with sutures if the surgeon feels it is necessary. The skin is pulled back and upward and the excess skin removed.

The wound is then closed with sutures and skin staples. Some surgeons leave a drain in the wounds to remove excess blood. Bandages are then applied. There are surgical techniques that go into deeper tissues rather than under the skin and fat. The results are similar.

As you can imagine with any surgery there are risks and complications that may arise from your facelift procedure. Complications and risks can include bleeding, hematoma, bruising, infection and scarring to name some of the more frequent risks patients encounter.

For more in-depth of the facelift procedure risks and their explanations on a particular facelift procedure, there are great resources such as the Mayo Clinic and PlasticSurgery.org. We specify these two authorities in the field for a couple of reasons.

First your best protection again the risks is understanding the procedure to the best of your ability, and who better to explain those to you than doctors. This will allow you to ask the proper questions to your plastic surgeon when you have your consultation. Secondly, knowing the risks ahead of time will prepare you for recovery. Too many times we hear people state they were not physically or emotionally prepared for the recovery. Consequently, their experience was not pleasant and in some actually affected the results of the surgery.

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Take time to review all the facts you have in front of you before making any decisions, and just as the type of procedure you are looking to have is important, so too is the doctor performing the procedure. Just as you would shop for non-surgical procedures, do the same. Be sure to ask for references and do not fall for what is cheapest is best. Remember you are having surgery and you want to be safe.

As always we appreciate all your comments and emails, and don’t forget to share this information with your friends so they too can find their fountain of youth.