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Informed Consent



This is an informed-consent document that has been prepared to help your plastic surgeon inform you concerning face lift surgery, its risks, and alternative treatment.  


It is important that you read this information carefully and completely.  Please initial each page, indicating that you have read the page and sign the consent for surgery as proposed by your plastic surgeon. 



Facelift or rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging on the face and neck.  As individuals age, the skin and muscles of the face begin to lose tone.  A  facelift cannot stop the process of aging.  It can improve the most visible signs of aging by tightening deeper structures, re-draping the skin of the face and neck, and removing selected areas of fat.  A facelift can be performed alone, or in conjunction with other procedures, such as a brow-lift, liposuction, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), or rhinoplasty (nasal surgery). 


Facelift surgery is individualized for each patient.  The best candidates for facelift surgery have a face and neck line has begun to sag, but whose skin has elasticity and whose bony structure is well defined. 



Alternative forms of management consist of not treating the laxness in the face and neck region with a facelift (rhytidectomy).  Improvement of skin laxity, skin wrinkles and fatty deposits may be attempted by other treatments or surgery such as chemical face peels, fillers such as Restylane, Botox or liposuction.  Risks and potential complications are associated with alternative forms of treatment. 



Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand the risks involved with facelift (rhytidectomy).  An individual’s choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit.  Although the majority of patients do not experience the following complications, you should discuss each of them with your plastic surgeon to make sure you understand the risks, potential complications, and consequences of facelift (rhytidectomy). 



It is possible, through unusual, to experience a bleeding episode during or after surgery.  Should post-operative bleeding occur, it may require emergency treatment to drain accumulated blood or a possible blood transfusion.  Do not take any aspirin or any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication for ten days prior to your surgery as this may increase the risks of bleeding.



An infection is quite unusual after this type of surgery.  Should an infection occur, treatment including antibiotics or additional surgery may be necessary.



All surgical incisions produce scarring.  The quality of these scars is unpredictable.  Abnormal scars may occur within the skin and deeper tissue.  In some cases, scars may require surgical revision or other treatments.



Deeper structures such as blood vessels, muscles, and particularly nerves may be damaged during the course of your surgery.  The potential for this  varies with the type of facelift procedure performed.  Injury to deeper structures may be temporary or permanent and may result in paralysis to the facial muscles with subsequent facial distortion.  Fortunately, this complication is relatively rare.



The human face is normally asymmetrical.  There can be a variation from one side to the other in the results obtained from a facelift procedure. 



Motor and sensory nerves may be injured during a facelift operation.  Weakness or loss of facial movements may occur after facelift surgery.  Nerve injuries may cause temporary or permanent loss of facial movements and feeling.  Such injuries may improve over time.  Injury to sensory nerves of the face, neck and ear regions may cause temporary or more rarely permanent numbness.  Painful nerve scarring is very rare. 



Chronic pain is a very rare complication after a facelift. 



A facelift is a surgical procedure used to  tighten the loose skin and deeper structures of the eyelid.  Skin disorders and skin cancer may occur independently of facelift surgery.


there is the possibility of a poor result from rhytidectomy.  Surgery may result in unacceptable visible deformities, loss of function, wound disruption, loss of sensation nerve paralysis, etc.  You may be disappointed with the results of surgery.  Infrequently, it is necessary to perform additional surgery to improve your results.  Additional surgical procedures may be needed.  Fees associated with the additional surgery may be your responsibility.



In rare cases, local allergies to tape, suture material, or topical preparations have been reported.  Systemic reactions which are more serious may occur to drugs used during surgery and prescription medicines.  Allergic reactions may require additional treatment.



Hair loss may occur in areas of the face where the skin was elevated during surgery.  The occurrence of this is not predictable. 



Wound disruption or delayed wound healing is possible. Rarely, there may be full thickness loss of some of the skin that may result in additional scarring.


Smokers have a greater risk of skin loss and wound healing complications. 



Both local and general anesthesia involve risk.  There is the possibility of complication, injury, and even death from all forms of surgical anesthesia or sedation



Subsequent alterations in facial appearance may occur as the result of aging, weight loss or gain, sun exposure, or other circumstances not related to facelift surgery.  Facelift surgery does not arrest the aging process or produce permanent tightening of the face and neck.  Future surgery or other treatments may be necessary to maintain the results of a facelift operation. 



Most health insurance companies exclude coverage for cosmetic surgical operations such as the facelift or any complications that might occur from surgery.  Please carefully review your health insurance subscriber-information pamphlet. 



There are many variable conditions in addition to risk and potential surgical complications that may influence the long term result from facelift surgery.  Even though risks and complications occur infrequently, the risks cited are the ones that are particularly associated with facelift surgery.  Other complications and risks can occur but are even more uncommon.  Should complications occur, additional surgery or other treatments may be necessary.  The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science.  Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee or warranty expressed or implied, on the results that may be obtained. 



The cost of surgery involves several charges for the services provided.  The total includes fees charged by your doctor, the cost of surgical supplies, anesthesia, laboratory tests, and possible outpatient hospital charges, depending on where the surgery is performed.  Depending on whether the cost of surgery is covered by an insurance plan, you will be responsible for necessary co-payments, deductibles, and charges not covered.  Additional costs may occur should complications develop from the surgery.  Secondary surgery or hospital day-surgery charges involved with revisionary surgery would also be your responsibility. 



Informed-consent documents are used to communicate information about the proposed surgical treatment of a disease or condition along with disclosure of risks and alternative forms of treatment(s).  The informed-consent process attempts to define principles of risk disclosure that should generally meet the needs of most patients in most circumstances. 

However, informed consent documents should not be considered all inclusive in defining other methods of care and risks encountered.  Your plastic surgeon may provide you with additional or different information which is based on all the facts in your particular case and the state of medical knowledge. 

Informed-consent documents are not intended to define or serve as the standard of medical care.  Standards of medical care are determined on the basis of all of the facts involved in an individual case and are subject to change as scientific knowledge and technology advance and as practice patterns evolve. 




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