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Facelift Surgery - Complication and Side-effects

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Sunil Soni 87% (59 ratings)
M. Ch. (Plastic Surgery), MBBS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Hisar  •  28 years experience
Facelift Surgery - Complication and Side-effects

The skin has underlying protein layers, mainly having collagen and keratin. With age, they lose elasticity and the skin begins to sag. This is where facelift gained popularity with various techniques including Botox, chemical fillers, laser beam treatment, and chemical peels. Read on to know how these minimally invasive, economic options work in literally lifting up the face:

  1. Laser treatment: A beam of laser (usually CO2 laser) is used to make small dots on the skin with normal skin left untouched in between. This causes tightening of the tissue underneath, producing a firmer appearance which can take off years from the appearance.
  2. Botox: This accidentally discovered neurotoxin is used to treat wrinkles and sagging skin. The sagging areas of the face (usually forehead and nasal folds) are injected with Botox. The wrinkles are gone and the fine lines are lost, and the result can last for up to 8 months.
  3. Fillers: Chemicals which are naturally present in the skin like hyaluronic acid and collagen extracts are injected into the skin to fill up the underlying skin and produce a fuller, younger appearance. The lower cheeks, corners of the eyes and mouth, and area under the eyes are commonly treated by this method.
  4. Chemical peeling: The top layer is often peeled off using chemicals so that fresh, younger-looking skin is generated. This also helps in reducing pigmentation, reducing forehead lines, de-tanning, and producing a glowing, radiant, younger-appearing skin. It also can be used in other skin conditions including rosacea.

While each of these is widely popular, they come with a set of potential risks and complications.

  1. Anaesthetic reaction: Most of the above procedures require local anaesthesia and there could be a reaction to this chemical.
  2. Hematoma: There could be small hematomas in the underneath layers of the skin, which will take some time but dissolve on its own
  3. Numbness/tingling: The face has a rich nerve supply, and if any of these are touched, there could be numbness or tingling or even loss of sensation in some cases. While some may improve with time, there also could be permanent damage
  4. Scarring: In chemical peels, there could be minor incisions and therefore scarring can happen.
  5. Delayed healing: Depending on the person’s immunity, healing could be delayed, and as it is the face, social and/or professional life can be affected.
  6. Infection: As with any surgery, chances of infection arise and can be managed with antibiotics.
  7. Bleeding: As most of these are non- or minimally-invasive, chances of severe bleeding are less but still persist.
  8. Bruising: The face, in the immediate postop period, can have a bruised appearance, which will improve over 4 to 5 days. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon.
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