Visiting with a facial plastic surgeon is always required before agreeing to undergo any facial cosmetic procedure. Though questions can be answered in a general fashion, specific questions often depend on the procedure undertaken and a persons’ specific medical problems. Without a physician-patient consultation, specific questions can not be answered.
#1: Is a Facelift Painful?
While everyone’s pain tolerances are different, a facelift is generally not painful. Most people will use some narcotic pain medication for one to two days after the surgery and then rely on less strong pain medication, or sometimes take a sleeping pill or stronger pain medication just before bed. Most patients are surprised at how comfortable the recovery period after a facelift is.
#2: How long will the results last?
It is impossible to tell how long the results of any plastic surgery procedure will last. Patients are warned that if someone guarantees how long a procedure will last, they are likely making a promise that can not be kept. To the same extent that you can not predict what you will look like in ten years without undergoing surgery, you can not tell what you will look like in ten years after undergoing surgery. A good rule of thumb though is the more invasive the procedure, the longer the results will last.
#3: What anesthesia is necessary for a facelift?
The type of anesthesia necessary for a facelift is dependent on the technique performed, surgeon and patient preference, and if additional procedures are undertaken. Some facelift procedures can be undertaken with local anesthesia only where the patient is awake during the surgery while others require general anesthesia. In addition, just because a procedure can be done with local anesthesia doesn’t mean that it should be done that way. Everyone has a different pain threshold and sometimes a moderate sedation is a better idea than local anesthesia alone.
#4: How long is surgery?
Facelift surgery can last from an hour to several hours. A decision for surgery shouldn’t be made based solely on the amount of time surgery may take. Saving a few minutes on the day of surgery isn’t worth the possibility of long term suboptimal results or scarring.