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
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.
RISKS of FACE LIFT
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).
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
infection is quite unusual after this type of surgery. Should an infection occur, treatment
including antibiotics or additional surgery may be necessary.
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.
DAMAGE TO DEEPER STRUCTURES
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
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.
disruption or delayed wound healing is possible. Rarely,
there may be full thickness loss of some of the skin that may result in
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
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.