Humans are capable of making 10,000 facial expressions and use 50% more muscles to frown than to smile. Our face is what the world sees when it looks at us and our main form of identification in both an official capacity and in social interactions.

So what happens if the face with which you greet the world isn’t the one you want to see in the mirror? We humans are arguably our own worst critics and when we become unhappy with what we see in the mirror, we often look to surgical solutions.

Before choosing to have facial surgery, it is important to know what to expect. Here are some of the different types of facial surgery you may consider when altering your appearance.


Rhinoplasty–commonly referred to as a nose job– is the restructuring of the nose through surgery. Depending on the goal, the surgeon will make incisions (usually inside of the nose as to avoid external scarring) and remove tissue, add fillers, and alter the shape of the nose to fit the needs of the patient.

Rhinoplasty isn’t just for aesthetic purposes. This procedure is commonly conducted on athletes who have experienced multiple breaks and have difficulty breathing. In this case, the surgeon will reopen the airways.

The surgery itself does not take long, and can sometimes be completed as an outpatient procedure. More invasive procedures often require an overnight stay in a medical facility. Patients can expect bruising, swelling, and discomfort for a few weeks following the procedure.


Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces sagging, bagginess, and excess skin from the upper eyelids and below the eyes. This procedure is usually purely for aesthetic purposes, though is sometimes conducted on aging individuals who have vision troubles due to excess skin.

While this surgery does help patients look younger, it does not eliminate wrinkles, crow’s feet, or dark circles. Unless the patient is only concerned about their eyelids, most will opt for more extensive procedures to address the upper facial area or the face in its entirety.

Patients who undergo blepharoplasty should expect to experience swelling, bruising, and vision impairment for a week or two following the procedure. They may require extra assistance at home due to the vision impairment.


Otoplasty is considered a facial surgery, but it addresses the aesthetics and functionality of one’s ears. It is often conducted on young children who have extremely prominent ears. While under anesthetic, the surgeon will alter the patient’s skin and cartilage, removing tissue as necessary.

Patients will need to wear bandages for one week following the procedure, as well as an Ear Band-It at night for six weeks after the bandages are removed. Furthermore, patients will need to be mindful of soap, shampoo, water, glasses, and earring usage for up to two months following the procedure, depending on the invasiveness.


A rhytidectomy is more commonly known as a facelift. This procedure is an aesthetic surgery that addresses sagging skin associated with aging. There are different types of rhytidectomy, including the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS) lift and the Round Block lift. Your plastic surgeon will discuss which option is best for you based on your facial structure.

Facelifts tend to take several hours. Patients can expect to be bandaged for a couple of days following the procedure and may require a drainage tube. The common side effects of a facelift include pain and swelling immediately after the procedure, in addition to extended numbness and skin dryness in the months following.

Additional Considerations

Before taking the drastic step to alter your appearance, take time to consider the changes. Talk with friends and family about your thoughts and the procedure you are interested in. For many, facial surgery can correct a perceived flaw and boost confidence. For others, deeper psychological issues may cause body dysmorphia even post-op.

Be sure to discuss your concerns with your doctor to ensure that you are ready to greet the world with a new, smiling face!