It's been 8 weeks and I'm still have swelling after ZMC fracture repair. At what point should I become worried?

Doctor Answers (4)

Swelling After Surgery for a Broken Cheek Bone

+1
Eight weeks after surgery to repair a broken cheek bone (ZMC or Tripod fracture), persistent swelling is quite normal. In fact, it may take 6 months to a year for the swelling to completely resolve depending on the severity of the injury and the extent of surgery that was needed to fix it. If your swelling is accompanied by fevers, redness and warmth of the skin, or increased pain, you should ask to be seen by your surgeon to make sure you are not developing an infection. Otherwise, your surgeon should track your progress with regular office visits during the first year after surgery to make sure he or she is happy with the repair.


Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Facial Reconstruction

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Hello Jake6055, 

Thank you for your question.

In general the swelling following  a ZMC fracture can be substantial and does take several months to resolve. Gentle massage of the area can be helpful to stimulate flow through the lymph channels.

Sometimes patients may notice swelling worsening after lying on the side of surgery or being flat.  This is normal.  As long as you are not having fevers, redness, warmth, chills, or opening of the incisions the risk of infection is low.  I would suggest you see your surgeon to  examine you.

Good luck, 

Dr.S

Scott Shadfar, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

It's been 8 weeks and I'm still have swelling after ZMC fracture repair. At what point should I become worried?

+1
Excellent question.  Swelling after facial reconstruction can be tremendous.  Without signs of infection (which is rare) you should not worry.  Time will allow the swelling to subside.  The swelling can take an entire year to return to absolute baseline.  Approximately 75% of the swelling should be gone by 8 weeks.  

Jason Mussman, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Swelling After ZMC Fracture Repair

+1
Swelling and tissue relaxation after a cheekbone (ZMC) fracture repair can take up to six months after the initial surgery to resolve to see the final soft tissue result over the bone repair.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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.