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Facelift Claims

If you have had a facelift – also known as a rhytidectomy – and there were complications caused by an error on the part of the cosmetic surgeon, you can make a claim for financial compensation.

A successful facelift claim can help you pay for any restorative surgery you require, as well as compensate you for the physical and psychological damage you have suffered as a result of your facelift going wrong.

With more than £10 million won for our clients to date, and a 95% win rate on claims we have pursued after obtaining medical evidence, the specialist legal team at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors is ready and waiting to help you.

To speak to our facelift negligence claims solicitors about whether you can claim compensation, call us on 0808 149 8520 or request a call back from one of our expert lawyers using the contact form on this page.


How can a facelift go wrong?

Experiencing pain, bruising and swelling, or different skin sensations are common following a facelift, but extreme cases of these may indicate that something has gone wrong. Before beginning a claim for facelift compensation, it is advised you seek help from a separate different medical professional.

The following problems are common after negligent facelift surgery:

  • Permanent nerve damage or numbness of the sensory or motor nerves of the face, to which the patient did not consent as a risk prior to surgery

  • Facial asymmetry

  • Asymmetrical ears, known as pixie ear deformity

  • Atypical scarring in front of or behind the ears

  • Over-tightening of skin

  • Mismanagement of infection

  • Inadequate management or treatment of necrosis - loss or discolouration of skin through infection or lack of circulation

If you feel that your facelift surgery has gone wrong, you should contact our solicitors immediately. We can explain everything you need to know about making a claim for facelift compensation.

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This is the most common form of rhytidectomy, and is also known as a traditional facelift. SMAS (Superficial Musculo Aponeurotic System) is the facial suspension system of the face; restringing and securing the SMAS can lead to the desired rejuvenation of the face.

Complications/signs of negligence:

  • Hair loss or a change in hairline at the front or behind the ears;

  • Inappropriate scarring; and/or

  • Permanent nerve damage.


Similar to the SMAS in technique, subperiosteal surgery is performed by lifting the soft tissues vertically, separating them completely from the facial bones and raising them to the desired position. The procedure has a longer period of facial swelling during the recovery period than some of the other equivalent surgeries.

Complications/signs of negligence:

  • This procedure often results in a longer period of facial swelling;

  • Hematoma – which occurs when blood collects outside of the blood vessels, rather like a big bruise, which may appear within twenty-four hours of the surgery; and/or

  • Damage to the nerves, which can be temporary or, in rare occurrences, permanent.


The rhytidectomy is a much less invasive technique than the traditional facelift procedure, often used to treat sagging or laxity around the eye, forehead and nasolabial fold areas. The lift can be performed under local anaesthesia and the cosmetic surgeon uses tailored surgical thread or barbed sutures to hold the skin in place. They are, in effect, the only things keeping the lift in effect as no skin is cut away.

Complications/signs of negligence:

  • Undesirable puckering effect to the skin surrounding the barbs securing the skin in place;

  • Visibility of the threads near the hairline; and/or

  • Asymmetry of stitched skin.

The duty of care for surgeons and clinics

Surgeons and clinics responsible for carrying out rhytidectomy procedures have a duty of care to ensure the wellbeing of patients, meaning every effort must be made to keep patients safe and protected from unnecessary harm.

A high degree of accountability is therefore necessary for all medical professionals involved in this process, making surgeons liable for any physical, emotional or psychological damage that the patient experiences as a result of their care.

Clinicians are not only responsible for managing reasonably preventable risk factors, but also for briefing patients thoroughly about the recovery process and any likely complications, allowing them to give their informed consent.

If you feel that your surgeon has not fulfilled this duty of care, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

Why choose us for help with your negligent facelift surgery claim?

If you have experienced complications as a result of negligent medical care during a facelift, it may be worth pursuing a legal claim.

We can help you to understand your legal position by offering expert and specialist legal advice. Should you decide to pursue a claim, our win rate of over 95% for the claims we have pursued after obtaining medical evidence, successfully recovering more than £10 million for our clients, means you can be confident in our solicitors' ability to help you.

To find out more about how we have helped people to deal with facelift claims, visit our case studies page.

Our cosmetic negligence claims team is led by Michael Saul, one of the UK’s most experienced and successful solicitors in this field, and we are confident we can deliver the best possible outcome with a minimum amount of stress.

Find out more about your legal rights in our report: Cosmetic Surgery: Knowing Your Rights if Something Goes Wrong

How do I know if I have a valid facelift claim?

The first step you should take if you are worried that your surgery has gone wrong is to consult a medical professional for a thorough assessment of your condition. They can provide a medical opinion on whether your symptoms are indicative of negligent care.

Keep meticulous records of your consultations, pre-surgery discussions and the recovery process. Photographic evidence can be particularly helpful. This documentation will serve as evidence should you decide to proceed with a legal claim.

Once you have a medical opinion and have gathered all relevant documentation, consult a legal advisor who specialises in clinical negligence claims related to cosmetic surgery. They can offer an informed perspective on the strength of your case and guide you through the legal process.

To be eligible to make a medical negligence claim, you will need to be able to provide that:

  • Your injury happened

  • Your injury was caused by your surgeon's negligence

  • Your injury has caused you to suffer, physically, emotionally and/or financially

If you meet these criteria, it is likely you have a valid cosmetic facelift surgery claim.

FAQs about facelift compensation

How much compensation can I get from a facelift claim?

The amount of money you could receive following a successful facelift compensation claim will depend on your unique situation.

Compensation for cosmetic surgery negligence is split into two different types:

  • General damages are calculated based on your pain, suffering and how your injuries have affected your life.

  • Special damages are calculated based on any medical and support costs, and for lost wages due to not being able to work.

To get an estimate of how much you may be able to claim, speak to our solicitors today and we will assess your situation.

What evidence is needed to support facelift compensation claims?

When making a cosmetic surgery negligence claim, you will be required to provide evidence to support your argument. This may be in the form of:

  • Medical reports

  • Photos of your injuries

  • Statements from medical experts

  • Statements from witnesses to your suffering

  • Proof of loss of earnings and inability to work

When you make a claim with us, our solicitors will guide you through the process of collecting evidence and can help you to do so, as well as recommend what evidence will help you.

What are the time limits for making facelift negligence claims?

In most cases, claims for cosmetic surgery negligence must be made within three years of either the operation or the date that the symptoms of the botched surgery became noticeable. This time limit specifies when the claim must be issued rather than resolved by. 

Cosmetic surgery negligence claims can take anywhere from six months to three years, or longer if the dispute takes more time to resolve. It will be difficult to assess how long your claim will take as it depends on many factors. However, we will do our best to give you an accurate estimate using our experience and we will maintain transparency throughout to ensure you are up-to-date on any and all developments.

How do I make a facelift claim?

To make a facelift compensation claim, you should first speak to our expert cosmetic surgery solicitors team by calling us or filling out our contact form. We will hold a free initial consultation during which we will discuss your situation, assess whether you are eligible to claim compensation and estimate your chances of success.

From there, we will gather evidence to build a case and approach the party at fault to demand your compensation. If they agree to settle, we will work with them to get you the amount of compensation you deserve. If they choose to dispute the claim, we will represent you in court proceedings in order to win your case.

What are the common reasons for pursuing facelift claims?

There are a number of issues that can result from negligent facelift surgery, including:

  • Severe asymmetry, lumpiness or an appearance that does not match the intended results.

  • Excessive or abnormal scarring

  • Pixie ear deformity

  • Overtightening of the skin

  • Nerve damage can lead to numbness, tingling or even paralysis in extreme cases.

  • Severe or persistent infections following a facelift may indicate a failure to follow proper surgical protocols.

  • Emotional and psychological distress that are directly related to your medical negligence

To be able to make a medical negligence claim, you must be able to prove that your injuries were a direct result of the negligence.

Do I need to go to court for my facelift compensation claim?

The majority of clinical negligence cases, including facelift claims, are settled before court intervention is necessary. We always do our best to resolve cases in the mediation stage, but we will not cut corners. If you stand to gain from court proceedings, we will discuss this with you and advise you on the best course of action.

Should your claim go to court, your solicitor will represent your best interests and seek the compensation you deserve, presenting your evidence as argument.


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If you have experienced problems following a facelift and think they are the result of negligence, talk to our expert cosmetic surgery negligence team today. Call 0808 271 6219 or request a callback by completing the contact form.

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