HEMATOMA This is the most common complication and occurs when a collection of blood forms under the areas of undermined skin. It occurs in about 1 to 2% of patients and is more common in men. The body will absorb minimal bleeding. A larger collection may necessitate aspiration to drain the collection. Occasionally it will require additional surgery. This may also lead to some firm areas (scar) under the skin that may require massages post surgery. More info here .. http://www.surgery.org/
EDEMA This is a normal consequence of surgery and is best treated simply by elevating the head of the bed. The application of ice packs or cold compresses is usually done for the first 1 to 2 days.
NERVE INJURY In addition to the small sensory nerves to the skin noted above, the other main nerve that is at risk is the facial nerve. Injury to this nerve occurs in less than 1% of cases. When it does occur it results in weakness of the face when smiling. If the nerve or one of its branches is injured due to stretching it may take 2 to 6 months for recovery. If the nerve is cut there may be either partial or complete weakness of a certain area.
ABNORMAL SCARS A small percentage of patients will develop scars that are unacceptable despite meticulous attention to detail both during and after surgery. The scars may widen, stay red or raised. If the scars are problematic a steroid ointment or injection will be used to improve their appearance. In some cases the scars need to be revised surgically.
SKIN LOSS This is also a rare occurrence. It may be due to cigarette smoking in the days to weeks before and after surgery, or due to undo tension at the site of the incision, which could be compounded by swelling or hematoma. Usually this is managed without the need for additional surgery.
INFECTION This complication is also rare. Prevention is the key and antibiotics are given both before and for a period of time after facelift surgery.