Has Anyone Ever Had a Face Lift Without Any Drains?

I wore a helmet that didn't have any drians. I was told that the Dr had never used drains...??? I have had a face lift before and I was totally recovered in a week and now I am in my third week and I am still very swollen...and disfigured. My DR tricked me to his clinic and then turned me over to his Intern...I had no idea who she was!!! My ears are moved down on my cheeks and Im in SHOCK!

Doctor Answers 10

Drains after facelift can be useful but many doctors do not use them after a facelift

I personally use tiny (8 millimeter) drains after most of my facelifts. Although many surgeons do not, and drains are often unnecessary after a facelift, I would rather be safe than sorry. I ALWAYS remove the drains day 1 after the facelift.

I use the drains as a safety measure just in case there is unexpected bleeding in the immediate post operative period. Removal of these tiny drains is not painful.

I do not however believe that drains can reduce swelling after a facelift.

Excessive swelling after a facelift is most likely caused by an agressive dissection of the facial tissues during the facelift or by the patient failing to keep their head elevated after surgery.

Facelift Without Drains?

Thank you for your question.

Facelift surgery does not require use of drains. Many surgeons do, however, place small drains for a short time after surgery, with the goal of reducing bruising. I personally do not use drains for my facelift patients. Instead, I take a little extra time during the operation to ensure small areas of bleeding have been carefully cauterised. Drains do not always necessarily prevent possible bleeding complication. I do not use drains and have pioneered The Concept Facelift, having a 0% incident rate of hematoma.

It is important to focus more on the results of your surgeon as illustrated in their pre & post operative facelift patients. Do you like their results, will the surgeon meet your expectations, is the facility where you are going to have your surgery performed accredited? These might be much more important. I do not think the use of drains or not drains would reflect the surgeons ability.

All The Best

To drain or not to drain that is the question

To use drains or not to use drains is a topic of much debate in surgery. Personally I do not use drains in face-lifts, but instead use fibrin glue. I have found this to be more beneficial for my patients as well as less cumbersome. That being said if I believe a patient would benefit from a drain I have no problem in using one. I always tailor the surgery to the patient and not the patient to the surgery. Hope this helps.

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Facelift and drains

Some surgeons do not use drains and others do. It is a matter of preference and not skill.    I think it helps avoid longer lasting bruising.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Facelift can be with or without drains.

Use of drains is by personal preferance of the surgeon.  I always use drains as a bit of a safety measure but they are not necessary.  Your prolonged swelling may be due to a more extensive procedure.  You should speak with your plastic surgeon about your concerns.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Many concerns following facelift

I would agree that placing drains after a facelift is unusual for most surgeons. Your more significant swelling and longer recovery could possibly reflect a more aggressive facelift but I cannot determine this based on the information provided. I am sad to hear that you feel that you were tricked. Please discuss this with your surgeon and if you're not satisfied, find a surgeon that you feel comfortable with for future care. I hope that you heal well and that your current concerns resolve.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Facelift without Drains

I rarely use drains after facelift surgery. Swelling will be present after surgery - I'm not sure what you mean when you say you're "very swollen". It is obvious you've lost confidence in your surgeon when you say your doctor tricked you - share your accusations with him/her or get a second opinion.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Drains are not always necessary after a facelift.

Drains are not always necessary after a facelift. This is part of physician style and how likely bleeding complications are etc...  The fact that you did not have drains is not likely the only cause of why you are still swollen.

There is a very disturbing marketing trend around the nation for large companies to promote and advertise "weekend" recovery facelift surgeries.  These companies then employ physicians to work for them to perform the surgery.  Many of the physicians are not board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

The fact that you met with one doctor and had surgery with another doctor is quite troubling.  I would not feel comfortable operating on a  patient that my partner had interviewed.  Trusting your surgeon is absolutely key in facelift surgery.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 271 reviews

Communication is key to a successful outcome for Plastic Surgery

 I have performed Face Lifts with drains and without drains. The use of drains depends on several factors and is a judgment call. We do our best to make our patients comfortable during their recovery and if we can avoid the use of drains, we do so for our patient's convenience. Swelling and bruising is typically more after a second Face Lift than the first. Recovery is also a bit easier for your fist procedure as you were younger. Only communication with your Plastic Surgeon can answer your questions.  Your Plastic Surgeon should be able to provide you with more specific information regarding what was done at the time of surgery and whether you are progressing normally. Plastic Surgery is a team effort and communication is the key to a successful outcome

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Please discuss your concerns with your doctor

Some plastic surgeon use drain and some do not. You have charged your doctor with serious allegations and you need to make sure that these statements are true.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 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.