Can anyone tell me about the drains after a facelift?

Was it painful to remove them and what day post op was removal ?

Doctor Answers 31

Facelift drains

While drains may be necessary after facelift surgery, not all will require them. First ask your surgeon if he or she uses drains on all facelift patients, or only when a high degree of suspicion exists for bleeding etc.  

When they are removed, frequently the are is still numb from the procedure itself. Usually patients feel the process but it is not painful. Check with your doctor if any pain precaution would be necessary. Good luck!


Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Drain removal

When drains are used after a facelift, they are usually very small and are removed with no pain.  Typically, most surgeons will remove them the following morning after surgery.  Since each plastic surgeon will have his or her own preference, I would recommend that you discuss this issue with your surgeon.  Good luck!


Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Drains after a Facelift

I rarely use drains in facelift surgery; only in the unusual patient that bleeds a little more during the operation. If necessary they are easily removed without pain the day after the operation.

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

Drains after facelift

all I do is facelifts. I've rarely used a drain in the last ten years, they are used ritualistically by plastic surgeons and have problems of their own. Most of the time they come out easily.

Val Lambros, MD, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Facelift drains

The drains used are usually  very small and not painful at all to remove.  A facelift is not as painful as most people expect.  The biggest complaints are feelings of tightness.  Good luck. Jane

Drains after facelift

In my practice , I use a drain less facelift technique . On a rare occasion, I may need to place a small drain during a facelift . If so, most of the time the drain is removed with very minimal discomfort within 24/48 hours .

Seeking out a consultation with a board- certified plastic surgeon to determine the technique which is appropriate for your anatomy .

Michael H. Wojtanowski, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Facelift drains

Hello and thank you for your question. I use a very small 4mm drain behind each ear.  They are removed 12 hours after surgery.  Removal is pain-free and most patients do not even notice the drains being removed at all.    If good technique is used, a facelift can be done with minimal scarring and can result in a natural look, not over-done look, with rejuvenation of your face.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Minimal pain

The way I do my facelift I leave a very small drain behind each ear. As long as the output is minimal, both drains are typically removed the day after surgery. Patients report that the pain when removing the drains is very minimal. Best of luck!

~Dr. Sieber

Drain pain

there is very little discomfort when removing drains. Removal depends on how much output there is. Best wishes.

Mark Loury, MD, FACS
Fort Collins Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Facelift drains

Sometimes drains are used after a facelift surgery to help provide an egress for fluid and prevent a collection of fluid under the skin.  These drains are often removed on the first day after surgery.  If your surgeon chooses to use drains, they are often secured with a suture and removal is hardly noticed and usually not or minimally painful.

Jeffrey Rawnsley, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 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.