The Facelift: An Overview of the Risks and Benefits

A facelift is a plastic surgery operation designed to improve the patient’s aesthetic appearance, particularly around the face and neck. The operation is done by taking the soft tissues of the face and actually lifting them while also removing any of the excess loose skin from both the neck and face. The contours below-the muscles-will often be repositioned as well, giving the end result of a younger looking visage. The procedure is designed to remove the droop and sag that tends to come along with advancing years. There are a number of benefits to the procedure for those inclined, but there are risks as well. To make an informed decision, you should be aware of both.


Few people simply get up one morning and suddenly decide they need a facelift. It isn’t something necessary from a medical standpoint and it certainly can’t turn back the clock in any meaningful way related to your health. That said, there’s no denying the power of the operation when it comes to making one look younger. If you’ve begun disliking what you see in the mirror, it might be the procedure for you. Ideal candidates for the surgery may have noticed their facial skin beginning to sag, deeper creases around the eyelids, and lost definition around the neck. It is not the right procedure for fine lines, superficial wrinkles, or damage caused by the sun.


No plastic surgery procedure can be done without posing potential risks to the patient. When you decide to have a facelift, you should be doing so with the full knowledge of what could happen in the wake of the procedure. Some of these risks are inevitabilities, while others are quite rare. You should expect scarring, as no one has figured out how to create incisions of the type required without leaving scars. A good doctor will attempt to hide them in the natural contours of the head and the hairline. There will be some degree of swelling and bruising for a few weeks after the surgery. Other risks include temporary numbness, loss of hair at the incision sites, nerve injury, and infection.


The point of the facelift is to give the patient a youthful appearance through the manipulations and skin removal inherent in the procedure. Some experts have noted that women typically get better results out of the procedure than men. This may be because of a man’s thicker facial epidermis as well as their larger parotid glands. With a good doctor who knows how to properly tailor his surgeries to the patient, however, both men and women can have excellent results.