Hello Alice, facelift surgical procedures have been performed and refined for a considerable period of time that the potential side effects of a face lift are more or less the same as they are for any surgical procedure. Some pain can be expected post-surgery, as well as swelling, bruising (especially around the eyes), scarring (expect these to stay pink for a few months before fading to a less noticeable white color). There’s also the low but possible risk of nerve damage or infection after a face lift. Some patients react to anesthesia (nausea), some experience hematoma (bleeding under the skin), bleeding (postoperative), and infection. But there are some complications unique to face lifts: nerve injury, slow healing of the skin (especially for smokers), scarring, blood or fluid retention, crustation of face lift scars.