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Why Does One Typically Have to Stay Overnight After a Face and Neck Lift?

Why Does One Typically Have to Stay Overnight After a Face and Neck Lift?

Doctor Answers (32)

Overnight stay after facelift is not always necessary.

+2

Facelift surgery takes several hours (done carefully, completely, and properly) in the operating room, and general anesthesia regimens utilizing "standard" inhalation anesthetics have as high as 30% nausea rate. Vomiting after facelift can cause hematomas requiring re-operation, so even the best surgeons with skillful techniques can have their careful surgery "undone" by post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV). Overnight stays are one way of trying to compensate for these concerns. Pills, suppositories, and injections of anti-nausea medications don't always work to prevent PONV from these drugs, and sometimes from the narcotic pain medications as well.

That is the reason I stopped doing facelift surgery in hospitals or hospital-affiliated surgicenters over 20 years ago, and instead began doing all of my elective cosmetic surgical procedures in our own AAAASF-accredited on-site office surgical facility, where we can offer BETTER anesthesia options, such as TIVA (total intravenous anesthesia) which allow PONV rates in the low single digits (our latest rates are at 3.5%, including 7-hour lower body lifts and other "big" operations such as facelifts, eyelids, and browlifts done all at one operation). For the past 21 years we have performed all of our cosmetic surgeries as outpatient procedures, so NO ONE is hospitalized overnight. Out-of-town patients are asked to stay in town overnight, and are seen by me the following morning after they check out of their hotel and before returning home.

Many of my plastic surgical colleagues who operate their own accredited surgical facilities have similar statistics (and offer similar better anesthesia practices that allow these kinds of results with outpatient ambulatory procedures). It's not about OUR surgical skill or expertise--it's about the difference anesthetic practices make!

You don't HAVE to stay overnight in a hospital, but it may be best with certain anesthetic choices. Ask your surgeon where he or she does their facelift surgery, what type of anesthetic is used, and what the PONV rate is. You may be surprised at the answer. You may also want to ask if your anesthesiologist stays in the operating room for the entire surgery, or if they just "supervise" your actual anesthesia provider. Best wishes!


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

I prefer to overnight my facelift patients so they don't have to be so active.

+2

Resting after a facelift is very helpful to minimize the risk of hematoma.  Also after a several hour general anesthesia, nausea is not unusual.  Having to get home after surgery can induce motion sickness.  Vomiting is a factor in causing post-operative hematoma formation.  Recovery at the surgery center overnight is very helpful for these factor.  Twenty-four hours after a facelift, these issues have past.  The cost of overnighting is generally small compared to the benefits.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Why Does One Typically Have to Stay Overnight After a Face and Neck Lift?

+2

Post operative care varies from one doctor to the next. We do face/neck lifts under general anesthesia as an outpatient and our patients go home a couple of hours after the surgery ends. I've done it this way for 25 years and had no problems. Of course we only do the surgery on healthy patients. I find face lift patients have more postop comfort than breast augment patients and those always go home after surgery in almost all practices. So no good answer for your question.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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Over it stay after facelift

+2

In my practice, patients go home after 2-3 hours in our recovery area. If your surgeon has an overnight facility and the expense is not too great, the convenience may be worthwhile .

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD
Oakland Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Overnight stay for facelift

+2
Each surgeon has his own regimen. I perform all my facelifts as ambulatory procedures and patients go home on the same day.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
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Staying Overnight after a Face and Neck Lift

+2

There is a slight risk of bleeding after a facelift which should be treated ASAP. The bleeding is not life threatening, but this can severely compromise your result. If handled immediately and efficiently the patient typically will experience nothing more than prolonged bruising.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Overnight Stay after a Facelift provides peace of mind for the patients and their families

+1
I am more comfortable having my patients stay overnight with RN supervision the first night after surgery as it provides peace of mind for the patient, their families, and for me. I like to check on patients right before I leave in the evening and see them again before I release them in the morning. If the patient has any concern, a nursing staff is available to check on anything they may need. 
Family members seem comforted to have the patients receiving medical care the first evening after surgery.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Overnight Stay Not Mandatory After Facelift

+1
Since my Facelifts are performed under IV sedation which is rapid onset, rapid offset in effect, there is no medical reason to stay in a medical facility overnight.  The majority of my patients prefer to recover in the comfort of their own homes than to stay at my facility.  Overnight stay is an option on request, but is by no means required.  Out of town patients most frequently stay in a nearby hotel located 5 minutes from my office.  Having a responsible adult stay with you overnight is mandatory to help with medications and make a phone call if any problems arise.  Some of my patients prefer to avail of private nursing to assist with this process. In my opinion, hematoma prevention is most strongly rooted in thorough preoperative teaching.  I encourage patients to walk around their house in the days prior to the procedure and look for activities or items which could tempt them to stretch the limits on activity restriction or lead to bending over.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Facelift and overnight stay

+1

Almost all my facelifts are done under local anesthesia with oral sedation and do not require an overnight stay. However, it is important to have someone who can help you out the first night of recovery. They can help you take your medications, place ice on your face, and notify the doctor if a problem arises. The most common problem that requires immediate attention is a post operative hematoma of the face or neck. This will need to be drained right away to prevent damage to your facelift. So it helps to have somebody that can recognize this and call the doctor.

Kurtis Martin, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Overnight Stay After Facelift

+1

  An overnight stay is not mandatory after a facelift.  Hematoma is the concern here.  I typically start the facelift at 7 am and finish at 9:30 or 10 am.  The patient then recovers for 4 hours or so in the recovery room.  Patients typically go home the same day.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 192 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.