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 36

Overnight stay after facelift is not always necessary.

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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! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

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

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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. Full facial rejuvenation is a big procedure. Being in a medical setting with round the clock supervision with two nurses and a plastic surgery minutes away add a safety component beyind the safety measures taken in the OR. 
Family members seem comforted to have the patients receiving medical care the first evening after surgery.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

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

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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
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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

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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 29 reviews

Over it stay after facelift

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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 FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon

Overnight stay for facelift

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

Staying Overnight after a Face and Neck Lift

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Facelift Post Surgical Care

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Although your surgeon will determine the best post operative care plan dependent upon the procedure, due to the length of a face and neck lift surgery it is advisable to stay at a overnight facility after surgery. Along with patient comfort, having trained medical caretakers after surgery can help minimize the patient’s activity, minimize post operative risk for complication and ensure patient safety.

Richard A. Zoumalan, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Facelift and Overnight Stay in Hospital

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While surgeons have different thoughts on post operative care, most surgeons today do not keep their patients in hospital overnight.  In 30 years of practice, I have never done this.  Today, I use conscious sedation and tumescent local anesthesia and all my patients go home about a half hour after surgery and do very well.  

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Overnight stay after facelift

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 As you can see from the other answers given here, surgeons differ on whether an overnight stay is necessary. This depends on many factors. Some patients are more comfortable with an overnight stay, whereas others prefer to recover at home. If a procedure is done under general anesthesia, there will be more nausea and tendency to bleed after surgery than with local and IV sedation. Longer operative times (over four hours) may also warrant an overnight stay. Some surgeons are simply more efficient than others due to experience and operative skill. My personal preference is to discharge a patient home under the care of a responsible adult if there is no medical reason for an overnight stay. My experience has been that patients tend to be over medicated and ambulate less than at home, simply because there is a nurse present to wait on them hand and foot. In other words, staying overnight in a recovery facility can actually delay your recovery.

Ben Lee, MD - Account Suspended
Denver Plastic Surgeon

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.