Face Lift Summary

Face lift or rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure that is designed to repair sagging, drooping and wrinkled facial and neck skin. These problems all occur naturally with age. However, diet, smoking, heredity and obesity can all lead to accelerated aging of the skin.

Face lift surgery can help fix some of the damage caused by age. Often restores a person’s appearance to a more youthful look. It can be done alone or in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures such as an eye lift or forehead lift.

Length of the procedure: 1 to 2 hours

Hospital Stay: Most patents are released form care within 1 day their procedure.

Recovery before traveling home: Patients seeking face lift through medical tourism can return home within 7 to 10 days of their procedure.

Travel Tip: It is best to plan an extended stay beyond your face lift procedure to allow for post operative care. Most surgeons require several follow-ups in the days immediately following the procedure. Find a hotel near the clinic where you have the procedure for easy access to medical care. It is best to find a hotel room that is handicap accessible so you are properly accommodated during your recovery.

Procedure Details

Your surgery will begin with the administration of general anesthesia. The surgeon will make incisions right above your hairline near your temples, behind your earlobe and at your lower scalp. The incisions are strategically located, so they can be concealed easily after you have healed from surgery. The surgeon will use these incisions to remove excess fat tissue and loose skin. Once they have removed the excess skin and fat tissue they will close the incisions with sutures.

After the Procedure

After the procedure you will be taken to recovery. Your vitals will be monitored carefully during this time. When you have woken from the surgery and your vitals are stable you will be moved to a regular hospital room or released from care.

After the surgery your head will be wrapped in gauze in order to minimize bruising and swelling. You will also have a surgical drainage tube in place. The drainage tube will be removed within 1 to 2 days of the procedure.

It is important to keep your head raised for the first few days after the procedure to minimize swelling. You can do this by sleeping on two pillow rather than one.

Within 5 days of your procedure the surgeon will remove any stitches or clips. They will also remove any bandages at this time. Initially your face will be puffy and bruised, but this should subside within 4 to 6 weeks of the procedure.

Self care after face lift:

  • No exercise for 2 to 3 weeks
  • Return to work within 1 to 3 weeks
  • Wear SPF 15 sun block for the first 6 months
  • No smoking


Generally, most patients are pain free about 2 weeks after they have a face lift. In most cases the surgical scars from a face lift are completely hidden and some will fade completely over time. Most patients are satisfied with the results of this procedure.

Risks and Complications

As is with any surgery there are risks associated with face lift surgery. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:

  • Reaction to anesthesia or medication
  • Breathing problems
  • Bleeding problems
  • Infection
  • Heart problems
  • Abnormal facial contour
  • Attached earlobe
  • Skin blistering
  • Ear nerve damage
  • Facial weakness or paralysis
  • Facial nerve injury
  • Heavy scarring
  • Loss of sideburns
  • Numbness
  • Skin irregularity
  • Tightness

Contact your physician if any of the following occur:

  • Face begins to swell
  • Large bruises develop
  • Face or lip becomes paralyzed or begins to sag on one side
  • Incision is red, swollen or warm to the touch
  • Stitches pull apart
  • Fever above 100.5 degrees
  • Chills
  • Bandage is soaked with blood
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest pain
  • Rash or signs of allergic reaction