Is cosmetic surgery painful?

If you were to undergo any cosmetic surgery procedure without an anaesthetic, then it would of course be very painful! Thankfully, however, anaesthetic techniques are so advanced nowadays that you won’t feel a thing throughout the cosmetic surgery itself.

After the cosmetic surgery procedure

Although you will be numbed throughout the operation, there will be some pain once you have come round from the anaesthetic. How much pain and in what location will depend on the type of cosmetic surgery you have had.

You will be given pain medication to take that will help to make you more comfortable in the first few days after surgery. Generally any residual pain should disappear within the first couple of weeks after you operation.

Facelift pain

People often expect facelift surgery to be particularly painful – in fact, it is one of the least painful forms of cosmetic surgery. There will be a “tight” feeling after surgery, and there may be some bruising and swelling at the point of incision, but generally facelift surgery is surprisingly pain free.

Types of anaesthetic

There are a number of different anaesthetic techniques that can be used for cosmetic surgery. In my London cosmetic surgery practice I prefer for patients to undergo a general anaesthetic, whether it be for facelift or breast augmentation.

A general anaesthetic ensures that the patient is pain free and blissfully unaware of what is happening during the procedure itself. Some cosmetic surgeons perform breast augmentations under twilight sedation – where the patient is semi-conscious throughout – or even local anaesthetic, as this allows the patient to return home on the day of surgery.

In my practice, I believe that it is safer and more comfortable for the patient to be under a general anaesthetic and be closely monitored for 24 hours after cosmetic surgery.