Many patients go into their initial consultation with their plastic surgeon — the first step for patients considering undergoing a facelift — with a lot of questions. They may wonder if they’re a good candidate for a facelift or if there are complications that can result from the procedure that they haven’t considered. Beginning the consultation with an open and honest conversation with your plastic surgeon is a great way to begin dispelling myths and moving forward with the facelift process.

“Some patients can come into the consultation with uninformed expectations,” says Constance Barone, MD, FACS, a plastic surgeon practicing in San Antonio, Texas. “The number one thing is to educate patients on their health and really address any issues.”

To ensure patients are as educated as possible, here are some common myths about plastic surgery — and the facts to dispel those myths.

1. I Will Look 25 Again After a Facelift.

Facelift fact: While plastic surgery has come a long way over the years, nothing can actually turn back the hands of time. A facelift can make you look years younger, give you a more refreshed appearance and help you turn a few heads.However, it won’t make you look several decades younger. Many patients come to plastic surgeons seeking to regain the look they had in their teens or early twenties. In reality that type of transformation isn’t possible even when a scalpel is wielded by the best plastic surgeon. Instead, try to discuss with your plastic surgeon what results you can expect during your consultation.

By going into a facelift procedure with realistic expectations, patients will have a better overall experience — and be happy with their actual results.

2. A Facelift Will Wake Up My Eyes.

Facelift fact: In reality, Dr. Barone says that a facelift procedure strictly addresses issues with the jawline and the neckline. For patients desiring a tighter, firmer look in these areas of the body, a facelift is a wonderful option.

Some patients, however, think “facelift” and may actually be looking for the results that come along with an eyelid lift or a dermal filler injection. By talking about what results you want to see with your plastic surgeon, he or she will likely be able to give you guidance as to what other procedures you need to achieve your realistic, desired result.

Your plastic surgeon may also be able to perform other procedures in conjunction with your facelift. For example, some patients opt to undergo an eyelid lift at the same time, giving them the results they want by combining the two procedures.

3. A Facelift Isn’t Really Surgery.

Facelift fact: According to Barone, this is one of the most common misconceptions that patients come into her office with. The truth is that a facelift is a surgical procedure — and that procedure does come with some risks.

Facelifts can be performed under either local or general anesthesia, depending on the needs of both the surgeon and the patient. If general anesthesia is used, then there is a chance for breathing problems or a reaction to the anesthesia.

Bleeding and infection are possible complications from facelift procedures. Because a facelift is a surgical procedure, patients should weigh their options and make an informed decision about whether or not a facelift is the right choice for them.

4. I Will See Immediate Results After My Facelift.

Facelift fact: The truth is that swelling and bruising is common in the first few days after a facelift procedure. Swelling may be present for weeks or months in some patients. And it usually takes time for the incision scars to fade. Those who opt to undergo a facelift should be patient and willing to wait to see the optimal results.