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Had a Facelift, What is Total Healing Time. Right Hand Side Below the Ear is Swollen, Could It Me my Lymphnodes?

I had a facelift on oct 22, my left side is swollen below the ear. Could my lymphnodes be a factor.i'm still numb at times. How long does it take to fully heal ? Thanks Lynne

Doctor Answers 6

Healing from a 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.

In the end, the lymphatics, or drainage system, of your face has been interrupted by the surgery and recreating all these small vessels takes time and, in general, most people feel they look they're best around 3 months. Having said that, you are presentable at 14 days as almost 60% of the swelling is improved by then and 70% will improve by 6 weeks and then 80% around 3 months, on average Healing tissue takes a full year to mature in any part of the body so the last 20% will take 6-12 months depending on the person.

Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

5730 Glenridge Drive
Atlanta, GA 30328

Healing from a facelift

It is not abnormal to experience swelling following a facelift. In general, the side effects of a facelift can include:

1) Swelling
2) Firmness
3) Bleeding
4) Numbness
5) Bruising
6) Nerve injury that is temporary but sometimes permanent

It is not likely your lymph nodes are a factor. Swelling, numbness, and firmness can persist for an extended period of time following a facelift. The final result may not be evident for 6-12 months following your surgery. I would recommend speaking with your surgeon regarding your concerns, as he/she knows the details of your surgery and will be able to make recommendations based on your needs. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your healing.

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

6849 Fairview Road
Charlotte, NC 28210

Facelift healing

Numbness is normal and takes months to completely recover- the swelling at this point might be ongoing inflammation but could be some excess fluid or an old blood collection that can take 6 or more months to improve. It is unlikely related to lymph nodes.  You should see your surgeon and ask about your concerns- his or her ability to do a physical exam will greatly help figure out what is going on.

Adam David Lowenstein, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

1722 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Swelling Below Ear after Facelift at 3 Months

  The swelling below the ear may represent a fluid collection, exuberant scar tissue, a suture issue, a lump from plication, fat necrosis, etc.  A physical exam by your plastic surgeon would be advisable to sort this out for you.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 334 reviews

435 North Roxbury Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Face lift healing

Sorry you have this problem. My thoughts -

  • Numbness after a face lift is normal. It can take 18 months to go away completely. 
  • The swelling below your ear is unusual. Depending on the type of face lift you had, it may be a suture reaction.
  • I suggest you see your plastic surgeon to find out what is going on.
  • Hope this helps. Best wishes!

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

2045 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

Swelling three months after facelift

Swelling is not the norm three months after a facelift, and swollen lymphnodes also are not present after a facelift. Most will fully heal three weeks after a facelift with some numbness clearing about three months time.

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.