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Hardness on Sides of Face and Neck 10 Days After Facelift?

The sides of my face and neck seem hard 10 days post surgery. Maybe still some swelling? What can I do to help resolve this? I am having my stitches out in 2 days and the staples behind my ears, could it get better once those are gone? Plus I think I have developed a small hematoma in front of one ear, maybe dime sized or a bit smaller, which I will have him look at. I knew there would be swelling and numbness, but this seems like something different. I start a new job in 3 1/2 weeks, but I am worried.

Doctor Answers 12

Hardness on the face after facelift

This is very likely normal swelling 10 days after your surgery.  The swelling in these areas can cause the tissue here to become firm, and this will resolve on its own.  Try and be patient!

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Hard Ridges on Side of Face and Neck 10 Days after Facelift

   The feeling of hardness or swelling is normal at 10 days following facelift.  A small hematoma may need to be drained, or you may just have a small bruise.  The plastic surgeon can make this determination with a quick exam.

Hardness on face and neck 10 days after facelift surgery

The hardness you are feeling on the side of your face and neck is a result of swelling. This is a normal occurrence following surgery, and resolves over time. A hematoma needs to be addressed right away, and I would recommend a follow up with your surgeon immediately. Overall, you will need some time to heal and it is important to be patient during this process. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your recovery. 

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Hardness on sides of face and neck following facelift

Hello, and sorry to hear about the issues you are experiencing following surgery. It sounds like you have some swelling which is creating the hard feeling. The swelling will not likely change much after you have the stitches and staples out, but will improve over time. If you think you have a hematoma (which will look like a dark red bruise), you should see your surgeon immediately and have it drained during your visit, as it can compromise your result. In general, the side effects of a facelift (which can vary depending on the type of facelift that was performed and the severity of the patient's issues) may include the following:

1) Swelling
2) Bruising
3) Temporary numbness
4) Nerve injury that is usually temporary but can sometimes be permanent

Overall, it will take 6-12 months to see the final result of a facelift, but you should be ok to start a new job in 3.5 weeks. If there is residual bruising, it can usually be concealed with makeup. Thanks and good luck!

Firm post face

This is normal.the degree of  swelling and firmness will vary from patient to patient.This will resolve with time and heat and gentle massage may help it resolve quicker.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Hardness of Face After Facelift #plasticsurgery

You may have firmness that can last 6 months or longer. It takes quite a while for the inflammation to resolve. Be patient and keep in close contact with your surgeon. The best thing for you is time. You are not alone, I have many patients who ask me about the firmness. You had a facelift and this is normal. If you really think you have a hematoma that is an emergency and you need to let your surgeon know right a way.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Hardness of Face after Facelift

Several days after facelift surgery is still very early in the healing process. It's expected to have a degree of firmness or hardness after cosmetic surgery. Most of this sensation is usually due to swelling. Keeping the head elevated, ice packs, salt restriction, and following your plastic surgeon's care instructions will help maximize healing and minimize swelling. Facial massage may help too soften the skin. However, you must speak with him/her regarding any issues you have. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Swelling and bruising after facelift or facial cosmetic surgery

I tell my patients that swelling is normal and part of the deal. It is noticeable for weeks and varies widely and cannot be eliminated. Elevation while sleeping is helpful, often for up to 6 weeks.

 Massage, heat, cold, ultrasound, infrared application, etc are often tried but  don't change the natural course of events very much

Small hematomas are not uncommon and can sometimes be easily aspirated in the office.

Ask your surgeon to check it out as he/she is in best position to evaluate.  

C. Dennis Bucko, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Facelift Healing

10 days after your facelift it appears your recovery is normal to this point.  There are really few things to do to accelerate the healing process.  Continue to follow your surgeon's directions and in 3 1/2 weeks you will be more than presentable for your new job opportunity.

Dr. ES

Hardness Of Skin After A Facelift

Every symptom that you have described is exactly what a facelift feels like at your point after surgery. Swelling, bruising, firmness and irregularities of the facial skin are common and expected. You will be surprised how much better it will be in another 3 weeks when you return to work. While every abnormal sensation and feeling will not be completely gone, you will look much more normal and very passable in public without looking like you have had facelift surgery.

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.