Facelift Side Effects

Some consider the facelift to be the most complicated of all the cosmetic surgical procedures, not just because of the intricate way in which the facial muscles interact, but also because the face is the main focal point for most direct human interaction. Any time you speak with another person, he or she will be looking at your face for non-verbal expressive cues to determine your mood or feeling.

As a result, Dr. Mark Deuber believes it is important for all of his patients to have a thorough understanding of the entire surgical process, including possible side effects, so they can work toward the best possible outcome from the facelift procedure. Below are some of the more common side effects you may experience after your facelift.

Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling are two of the most common side effects following any surgical procedure. In fact, these side effects are part of your body’s natural defense mechanism trying to isolate the area where your skin has been incised. Bruising and swelling around your facial area can last anywhere from one to three weeks, depending on whether you have undergone a full or partial facelift, whether your facelift involved the underlying facial muscles, and you personal healing time.

You can apply ice packs and cold compresses to help reduce the duration and amount of bruising and swelling. A gel preparation containing the herb Arnica montana can be rubbed over the healed incision sites to help reduce bruising and swelling.

Seromas and Hematomas

Seromas and hematomas are pools of fluid and blood, respectively, which can form under your skin around your incision sites. In most cases, seromas and hematomas are small enough that your body will eventually reabsorb the pools of fluid or blood. However, they may need to be aspirated, involving using a thin syringe to remove excess fluid or blood, if they are too large or begin to harden. Alternatively, Dr. Deuber can place surgical drains for the first 24 hours to prevent pooling.


There is no way to prevent all scarring following your facelift. Just as with bruising and swelling, scarring is part of your body’s natural healing process as your incisions heal over. However, there are certain things you can do to reduce the appearance of any scars. In fact, you can start before your surgery by stopping any alcohol or tobacco use at least two weeks prior to surgery. Both alcohol and tobacco can lengthen the amount of time it takes for your incisions to heal over, as well as make any scars more noticeable. Dr. Deuber also recommends foundation makeup as a way to make facial scars less noticeable.

Although you may find these side effects to be frustrating, Dr. Deuber will remind you that these are perfectly normal side effects following almost any type of surgical procedure. Having patience with your body and giving it the time it needs to heal will go a long way toward getting you the results you want from your facelift procedure.


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