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How Long Does the Swelling Supposed to Last After a Face Lift and Neck Lift?

My mom is 61 years old and she had a complete face lift and double chin removal, its been 4 months since she had the surgery and she still is very swollen and her neck is very stiff she can't turn her head at all. Some days she wakes up a bit less swollen and then get swollen again, she also says that she feels that her face gets very hot and it itches. Is all these normal??

Doctor Answers (25)

Postoperative Swelling after Facelift

+2

It is unusual to have swelling and stiffness of the neck at 4 months.  It is possible that there was a fluid collection that solidified causing prolonged swelling.   The best method to treat this is very aggressive lymphatic massage.   The longer the tissues stay swollen, the harder it is to massage out.   Followup closely with your plastic surgeon, such that they can evaluate and make appropriate recommendations to optimize your recovery and result.  All the best.

 

Paul S. Gill, M.D.

Gill Plastic Surgery

Houston Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Face lift, neck lift

+2

The swelling and hardness in the neck area can be due to post operative haematoma or  lymphatic edema which can take long time to resolve. Best is to keep following with the surgeon to ensure there is no other cause to it.

Sanjay Parashar, MD
Dubai Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Facelift swelling

+2
It can be. Facelifts can remain stiff and swollen for up to a year although this is rare. Lymphatic massage is offered through our practice aesthetician which helps in most cases.

Timothy Fee, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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Swelling and some stiffness is normal

+1
The rate of swelling really depends on the extent of surgery and your recovery rate. Once the majority of swelling goes away, residual swelling subsides very gradually and most patients don't notice when it's totally gone because it's so gradual. This generally takes about a year. However, I recommend your mother sees her surgeon if she is in serious discomfort. Best of luck.
 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Swelling after facelift

+1
It is generally the rule that the majority of facial swelling is gone by 4 months. In certain cases, especially with advanced deep neck techniques, the occasional patient can take longer - up to a year. Continue with your aftercare visits.

Laxmeesh Mike Nayak, MD
Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

How long does the swelling last after a face and neck lift?

+1
 In our practice with the techniques that we employ, most of the swelling is completely resolved at 3-4 months. Depending upon the skin type, techniques used and postoperative course, there are several issues that could be going on such as seroma/ hematoma formation  and lymphatic edema. It also depends on what type of suture techniques were used in the neck. Best to check with her original plastic surgeon.
 For many examples, please see the link below to our facelift Photo  Gallery

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Swelling after a facelift

+1

In general, the swelling after a facelift/necklift is mostly resolved 4 weeks post-op. Best of luck.

Christopher J. Davidson, MD, FACS
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Swelling Following a Facelift May Take up to 1 Year to Resolve

+1

Swelling following facelift surgery varies from patient to patient, and depends on the surgical technique and wound healing characteristics of the patient. The majority of swelling usually resolves in about two weeks following facelift surgery.  At this point most patients can return to work and resume normal activities.  In most cases, total resolution takes about three months.  In rare cases, swelling may persist for up to a year following surgery.
It’s important to realize that more aggressive facelift procedures create more swelling which can last for longer periods of time.  Elevation of the head, decreased salt intake and physical therapy can decrease swelling and stiffness after surgery.  Swelling is normal following facelift surgery, but persistent or extreme swelling should be evaluated by your surgeon, especially if its accompanied by bruising.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Post Op Recovery After Face and Necklift

+1

I normally have my patients stay in our post operative hotel with 24/7 recovery nursing care at which time we change the patient’s dressing and wash one’s hair and prepare them for their trip home. You can be almost self sufficient after 2 days. The stitches after surgery are taken out at 7 days and the other half are taken out at 10 days. The patient can be in make-up and back out in the public eye within 10-14 days. Exercise can resume at 3-4 weeks.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Swelling at 4 months

+1

Depending on how much work was done under the chin swelling and stiffness can last beyond 4 months.  Burning and itching are transient signs of nerve recovery which mean that her numbness is improving.  If you have any concerns you should have her follow up with her surgeon

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 145 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.