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Swollen and Lumpy 3 Weeks Post-op Facelift/necklift - Is This Normal Healing?

i have just had face lift and necklift 3 weeks 5 days ago .  i am home from surgery abroad and my jawline looks amazing but hae quite a large lump at the side of my right neck.does not eem to be going down any and. have noticed little lumps appearing under chin aswell. is this normal healing process i do know swelling can take months?

Doctor Answers 23

Swollen and lumpy three weeks after facelift surgery abroad

  It is likely that this represents routine swelling, and routine lumps and bumps after surgery, all of which will resolve with time.  But no one on this forum can say for certain that you have nothing to worry about without seeing you in person.  Certainly, this is the problem when patients visit other countries for their surgery.

Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Surgical lumps

We see this routinely at this stage. Years ago we would inject with steroids and massage. These lumps would go away in 3-6 months. The injections would hurt and massage would loosen skin. Now we do not inject or massage (or very little). They still go away in 3-6 months! Best to do nothing. I would still follow up closely with your plastic surgeon.

Timothy Fee, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Swollen and Lumpy 3 Weeks Post-op Facelift/necklift - Is This Normal Healing

Thank you for submitting your question and photo. Your very early in your recovery from a face lift.  Without an examination, difficult to answer.  You seem to be healing normally. Everyone heals differently, and swelling resolves faster in some patients.  HAve an examination with a Board Certified Plastic SDurgon and discuss your concerns.   Best wishes

3 weeks post-op facelift/necklift

Swelling and bruising is maximal at 48 hours post-surgery and gradually subsides over the following 10-14 days. Do not compare your progress with that of other patients. Remember that everyone’s healing process is unique. Your final results will occur between 6-12 months.

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Hard to tell from one photo

It appears that there is either swelling or a collection of fluid (either blood or watery collection) which is somewhat unusual at this stage.  It would depend on when it occured, but you should discuss with your surgeon and perhaps see someone in your areas since you had surgery abroad.  It may go on to resolve spontaneously, but it might not.... , and therefore a visit to a qualified plastic surgeon would be appropriate at this time to examine you. 

Michael Olding, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Lumps after facelift

Swelling after a facelift is normal and expected. On average, patients can be presentable (with makeup) in 14 days. I don't recommend video appearances for 21 days and flash photography for 3 months. These are averages and so there are patients on either sides of these numbers.

Around the third week, most people start to feel lumps in front of the ear and below the jawline.  This is normal collagen deposition from healing of the deeper tissues.  Usually, it is felt more than seen though sometimes it can be seen as well.  The lumps can get worse for about 6 weeks and then they start to dissipate and look much better around 10-12 weeks.  You can help the lumpiness improve by massaging the lumps 20 secs twice a day to apply mild pressure to the area but also to increase bloodflow to help it subside.  

In general, if you have a fuller face, you have more soft tissue than most so you'll hold on to fluid longer and have swelling after facelift longer. If you tend to bruise easily, your body has to clear the bruising so that will increase swelling in the area of the bruise more than average. Patients who have a robust immune system and heal well sometimes will swell even more because it's trying to do it too quickly and it will then take the fluid, from the increase in resources over a short period of time, time to dissipate and increase swelling after facelift. Thicker skin individuals, such as african-americans, asians, hispanics, and oily caucasians, will sometimes take longer to return to normal as well since thicker skin is like having a thicker sponge so swelling takes longer to resolve. Each person is different, but, on average, most people can plan on 14 days for noticeable swelling after facelift and to be presentable, with makeup.

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Swelling after facelift

This could be routine swelling, but you have done swelling behind your ear which could be some fluid under the surface of the skin. You should check with your surgeon to see if there is fluid that needs to be removed.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Swollen and lumpy 3 weeks postop facelift

  It is normal at 3 weeks to have some degree of swelling and lumpiness underneath the chin and over the cheek areas. These usually represent small seromas/ fibromas that tend to dissipate over the first few months after the surgical procedure. It's always best to check in with your original surgeon, but since you've had this performed out of the country, it might not be a bad idea to check in with a local surgeon to make sure your healing adequately.
 For many examples of what can be accomplished with a facial rejuvenation in our practice, please see the link below to our facelift photo gallery

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Lumps and Bumps after Facelift and Neck Lift

In the healing process, it is not uncommon to have some fullness or lumpiness after facelift and neck lift. These are generally in the lateral neck , below the ears, or immediately under the chin. The thing to watch out for is pain, increasing swelling, warmth, and fever. These can be signs of a hematoma, seroma, or infection. In my practice, I recommend some massage to the area, and in some cases, warm compresses. Minor irregularities typically resolve in 3 to 4 months. Make sure to follow up with your surgeon, if at all possible.

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Lumps & Bumps May Take Up to 6 Wks to Heal; Your Large Bump Suggests You Have a Seroma or Hematoma - See Your Surgeon ASAP

Lumps and bumps following facelift surgery are not uncommon. These usually result from areas of tissue indurations, small blood clots and scar tissue. They typically respond to massage and show significant improvement in the first six weeks following surgery. The vast majority have resolved in about three months.

The large bump on the right side of your neck represents an area of particular concern. This could be a seroma or hematoma and might require aspiration. It’s important that you discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon will be able to help you manage this problem. Be patient, you may ultimately have an excellent result.

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.