Are facelift drains required during a full facelift?

For some reason the idea of drains coming out of my face freaks me out, and I don’t know why since I’d already be subjecting myself to surgery. Are facelift drains required, or are there other alternatives that doctors can use if requested by the patient?


F, 59, New York

Drains are not necessarily required with facelift surgery.  In most cases I do not use them.  This will vary with patient needs and physician preferences.  With this being a concern of yours you should certainly discuss with your physician during consultation.

This is highly variable from surgeon to surgeon. I like to use small drains for 24 hours. Most surgeons don't leave drains in for more than 1-2 days except in rare cases or if a hematoma had to be evacuated. The  drains don't come out your face - they emerge from tiny holes in the scalp behind the ears and in the first 24 hours patients are usually resting and not concerned about these issues. I would NOT make your decision on which surgeon to use based on whether they use drains. Also, surgeons are generally consistent in the choices they make for technical procedures on operations, so if your surgeon is accustomed to using drains as a matter of routine to get good results, it is unlikely (s)he would alter the procedure. I know I would not. Please be reassured that the drains are really a minor nuisance and it is for a very short period.

Have you selected a surgeon yet? Are you considering traveling for surgery or do you want to stay in your area?

-- Dr. Sayed

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