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Facelift Surgery: 5 Risks and How to Prevent Them

By: Austin-Weston


The facelift procedure has been around for more than a century, and at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, our three plastic surgeons perform more facelifts than any other group in Northern Virginia and the DC Metro Area. While facial rejuvenation will lead to a more youthful-looking profile and greater self-confidence, it’s important to understand the risks involved with surgery.

5 Facelift Risks

1. Scarring

Scarring is minimal for the traditional facelift—mostly limited to the hairline behind the ear. There will be a scar, however. The face has an excellent blood supply, which means faster healing and much less risk of unusual scaring or necrosis of the skin (which occurs with poor blood supply).

2. Numbness

Expect numbness or changes in sensation in the incision area. This will occur as the nerves heal and should disappear over time. However, it can last longer. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about the level of

3. Bleeding

Bleeding may occur the first night of surgery. This condition can result in a hematoma, a pooling of blood, specifically in the case of facelifts, in the cheek or neck area. In case this occurs, it should be addressed immediately. Austin-Weston has nurses on call 24 hours per day who are just a phone call away.

4. Infection

Infections are rare with facelift procedures due to the healthy blood supply in the face. However, additional procedures have their own infection risks. The use of injectable fillers like Juvéderm, Restylane, and Botox can lead to injection site infections, for example.

5. Unrealistic Expectations

While not a risk to your health, having unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction with your facelift results. Remember, this is a procedure that tightens and smooths skin. And that’s all it can do. If you want to have a shapelier chin, nose or decrease bags around the eyes, a facelift can be combined with other procedures. Be clear with your doctor on exactly what you want to achieve with your facial rejuvenation results. By combining procedures, you will save on surgical fees, healing time, and enjoy the benefits of having one doctor using his artistry and experience to create a balanced look.

What You Can Do

There are several things you can do prior to facelift surgery to lower your risks. During your consultation, the team will give you a detailed list of proactive steps you can take to help make your tummy tuck a success. These are the most important:

If You Smoke... Stop!

Smokers have a higher risk of problems during the wound-healing period. If you are a smoker, quit for a month prior to the surgery, and your risk of the wound reopening in spots or taking longer to heal is considerably less. If you think you just can’t quit, be honest with your surgeon, and he will recommend the best procedure for you.

Medical History: Honesty & Openness

At the consultation, tell your surgeon about all medications you take. Some might lead to complications during surgery, so bring a complete list with dosages noted. Don’t forget to include over-the-counter medications, too!

When you’re considering elective surgery, it’s important to understand the risks involved and do your part to ensure a smooth recovery. At Austin-Weston, our team is here to answer any questions you have—big or small—so you are educated and prepared for the big day. And, unlike other plastic surgery practices, your entire surgical journey takes place in our pristine, comfortable facility.

Don’t Cut Quality Corners

From your first consultation to operation through recovery, we will take care of you every step of the way.

  • Our certified surgical equipment is checked and rechecked by an outside company for optimum performance.
  • Our team is certified in advanced cardiac life support.
  • We have full anesthesia services.
  • We are always overstaffed with extra nurses in case complications arise and all of our surgeons’ offices are on site, meaning they are available to back each other up if questions or a second opinion is needed.

Are you ready to regain the profile of your youth? If you live in the Northern Virginia or Washington DC area and are ready to reclaim your confidence, contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation at (703) 893-6168.


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at Austin-Weston

Our four, board-certified plastic surgeons have over 100 years of combined experience & work together in our dedicated, luxurious center providing combined knowledge on all procedures. Schedule your consultation today to learn how our surgeons can guide you on your journey to aesthetic harmony.

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