I Had a Face Lift Six Weeks Ago and Staples Were Left in My Face? (photo)

I had a face lift and had both sutures and staples removed before leaving on vacation. I discovered they had left in 13 staples when one of them fell out in my hand. It will be six weeks tomorrow when I go for my visit. (they are in the front right above the ear, six on each side.) I did call the doctor's office to see if they meant to leave them in. They said no, they shouldn't be there. They come out tomorrow and are really tender. Is it normal for staples to be missed like that?

Doctor Answers 12

Staples in facelifts

Surprising, isn't it, that so many plastic surgeons use staples in their facelifts.  I think using staples in facelifts is crude, the easy way out, and our patients expect better.  I hand suture all the suture lines, even if the are in the hair line.  Attention to detail is what you expect from a plastic surgeon. 

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Staples Left after Facelift

   The staples can usually be removed in 1 or 2 weeks.  They can still be removed later, likely without causing adverse event.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 484 reviews

Staples left in skin

After that length of time the staples will be buried. Everything should heal fine but a miss of 13 staples would be surprising.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Staples post lift

They soemtimes can be buried under the skin but to have 13 is a bit much.You should do well though.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Scalp Skin Staples/Clips usually removed in first 7-14 days

I think your doctor answered your question that they were not meant to be in so long. Fortunately, the skin clips were left within your hair bearing tissue so that there should not be any significant consequence. This is an unusual occurrence.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Staples left in after surgery

unfortunately, you had staples left in  for longer than usual.  However, they should be able to be removed without any consequence.  

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Staples after Facelift

We normally use sutures and tissue glue for our Facelifts and all sutures are removed by day 7. We don't like to use staples as sutures provide a more precise closure and a better looking scar. In your case, the staples simply need to be removed, and they don't appear to have caused any problems.

Ramtin Kassir, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

That is unfortunate but they seem very well tolerated.

Staples are designed to elicit minimal tissue reaction.  Ideally they are removed at 7 to 10 days.  Please have your surgeon remove all the staples.  It would be interesting to know how these were left in so long.  However, as others have pointed out this is unlikely to any consequences.  Staples are generally used in very inconspicuous area on the scalp which may be why the are still there.  Next time you notice something that does not seem right, don't wait, call your doctor and get it taken care of.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Are these Staples supposed to be left in?

Most sutures with a facelift are removed around 1 week post-op. Unfortunately these seem to be forgotten, they do not look to be in an area that scarring will be an issue, they should not cause any long term difference in your result.

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Staple Removal After Facelift

Staples are typically removed between 7 and 10 days after a Facelift.  The situation described is likely to have been an oversight, but really shouldn't have any significant aesthetic consequences.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 88 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.