Question: I fear a rhytidectomy could damage the nerves in my face. How often does this happen?
Answer: Rhytidectomy or facelift is a surgical procedure. As a surgical procedure there are risks to the surgery. When describing potential risks of the patient, giving a percentage is not always the best way to explain things to the patient. For example, if you state to a patient there is 10% risk of problem or a 1% risk of problem, if they’re that one person in a hundred cases or that one person in ten, they don’t remember that they are only a 10% or 1% risk. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the patients understand that with any surgical procedure there are risks that can occur. There are a number of nerves that can be damaged in a facelift. Nerves that supply sensation to the ear can be damaged and also nerves which supply movement of the face can be damaged. Frequently these are not common occurrences with this procedure. However, the patient does accept that there is a risk of having a nerve injury.