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How Long Before Swelling Subsides After MACS Facelift?

Sitll really swollen 6 days after a MACs lift and Bleph. Should I worry? I am a non smoker/drinker, very healthy. I have followed instructions by my doctor. Ever since he took the bandages off 48 hrs after surgery I have not seen any improvement in my swollen face.

Because face is so swollen it is creating wrinkles in my scars along my face and pulling my eyes down. I look like a monster. I am trying hard not to freak out. How long does swelling typically last after a facelift? Will the eyelid surgery lengthen that time?

Doctor Answers 5

Swelling after MACS lift

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 and flash photography for 3 months. These are averages and so there are patients on either sides of these numbers.

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.

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.

You can improve swelling after facelift by keeping your head elevated the first 2 weeks, applying cool compresses religiously the first week, minimizing activity after surgery, minimizing salt intake 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery, using a steroid pack from your doctor, using a prescription version of arnica montana, and minimizing medications that can make you bruise 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery such as aspirin, ibuprofen, herbal supplements especially green tea, gingko biloba, flax seed, fish oil, and multivitamins, especially those containing Vit E. Participating in lymphatic massages 10 days after the facelift can also help mobilize the fluid and minimize swelling; have a lymphatic massage once a week until the swelling has resolved.


Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Swelling at 6 days after MACS lift

Your surgeon needs to evaluate you to be sure there is no hematoma.  Otherwise, you may just be one of those people who swell more than others.  The majority should subside between 2-3 weeks after surgery.

Follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Swelling usually subsides with a few weeks. This will vary from patient to patient and depending on the type of procedure done. Given your history and the fact that you are not a smoker, it is most likely not something to freak out about. However, it would be best to visit your plastic surgeon just to make sure there is not a problem. Also, your sutures should be about ready to come out anyways.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

You should visit your surgeon today to make sure all is well after your MACS-Lift and Blepharoplasty.

MACS-Lifting is the short-scar facelift procedure I offer in my practice. My experience has been that downtime is between 2-3 weeks, and this depends on how extensive your procedure was.

Your stitches are just about ready to be removed, so please visit your surgeon today to make sure you're not having a problem with either procedure.

I hope you find this helpful

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 317 reviews

Swelling After a MACS Face Lift

After a MACS face lift which is a type of mini face lift swelling usually lasts 1 to 2 weeks. Even though it is a more limited surgery all face lifts can still take up to two weeks for swelling to resolve. I think you should however see your surgeon to make sure you do not have a hematoma that would cause swelling and bruising under the skin. I often will prescribe diuretics 1 week after surgery to reduce residual swelling,

Andrew Jacono, MD
Great Neck Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 89 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.