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I Am Having Bilateral Swelling of my Glands (Parotids, I Believe) Almost 7 Wks Post Facelift (Included Lipo Under Chin & Jowls)?

I did not have prominent glands prior to this so it is not that they have merely been exposed & I can tell by touching the area that there is still swelling. I was hoping my lower face would not still be looking so full at this point. I know it can take awhile for all swelling to resolve, but is there any cause for concern, anything I can do to reduce it, and how long should I anticipate this area/glands to stay swollen? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 7

Parotid gland swelling after a face lift

It is hard to tell if you are having swelling from your parotid gland. Chances are that it is just swelling in the face after a face lift. When you pull up tissue into the face area it tends to bunch up there. So this could all be part of your facelift. This usually comes down quite a bit.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

1810 116th Ave. NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Swelling of Both Parotid Glands Would Be Unusual After a Facelift

The parotid glands are 2 large salivary glands that are in front of the ears around the jaw. They are a formation of many small glands that produce saliva the eventually flow into one large duct, Stensen's duct, before emptying around the 2nd molar of the upper teeth. 

During a facelift, the parotid gland should not be disturbed, damaged, or disrupted.  It is at a level deeper than the area of surgery for a facelift.  There are times during the procedure where a small area of the parotid gland is exposed or damaged.  This is of minimal consequence most times.  It would even be of higher unlikelihood that both parotids were injured to cause swelling in them

There are causes of bilateral swelling of the parotid glands, dehydration, autoimmune disease, and infections.  If you are truly having new onset bilateral swelling of these gland, you should be evaluated by a head and neck surgeon, ENT.

In short, it is unlikely your swelling is secondary to injury of both parotid glands during a facelift.

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

6849 Fairview Road
Charlotte, NC 28210

Swollen parotids after surgery

I dont think so. It could be a blocked salivary duct  which is an easy thing to correct. I feel the swelling in this are is not parotid. The parotids arent even in the same field. I would have your doctor evaluate it and an mri will prove it is not parotid

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

2080 Century Park East
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Bilateral Swelling of Glands after a Facelift

It is very unlikely that your glands are swelling after a facelift. They are not normally exposed with this surgery. If the parotid is penetrated or the ducts violated the glands  could swell, but this is not likely with this operation. Talk to your surgeon about the swelling.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

416 N Bedford Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

I Am Having Bilateral Swelling of my Glands (Parotids, I Believe) Almost 7 Wks Post Facelift (Included Lipo Under Chin & Jowls)

 You might discuss this with your Face Lift Surgeon and have a simple test of Stensen's duct of each Parotid gland to be sure they are open and operational.  If your Face Lift Surgeon is unsure of this test, have him refer you to an ENT who would also be able to further evaluate the glands.  

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

8500 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Swelling after facelift

Everybody heals at their own unique pace. Some heal rapidly, others require more time. It is not uncommon for facelift swelling to take more than three months to completely resolve. The parotid glands are just in front of the ear and can extend down to the bottom of the ear lobe. The muscle layer in the face that is lifted and suspended is actually on top of the parotid gland. This would make it unlikely that the glands are exposed. It is possible that you still have a significant amount of swelling in the region in front of the ear that creates fullness.

It is possible that the prominent glands that you are referring to are your submandibular glands under the jaw line. Without seeing pictures it is difficult to say with certainty. Usually a tincture of time is all that is needed with regard to swelling especially at the 7 week post-op period. To be on the safe side I would follow up with your surgeon to ensure that you are healing appropriately and that there is nothing unusual about the swelling that requires further evaluation.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

1501 Superior Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Swollen glands after facelift, probably not

Swelling after facelift will not involve the parotid glands. So, you can count this out as an explanation of your facial swelling. Stiffness and fullness after seven weeks is cause for a visit with your surgeon to discuss your progress.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

8901 West Golf Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.