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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

Facelift swelling

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.

Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

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Swelling and some stiffness is normal

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.

Swelling after facelift

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 105 reviews

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

 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 60 reviews

Swelling after a facelift

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

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

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.

Post Op Recovery After Face and Necklift

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 21 reviews

Swelling at 4 months

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 156 reviews

Face Lift Swelling 4 months after and stiff neck

This can be normal. This is not uncommon after 4 months. At this point you likely have around 70% of your healing. We usually tell people that they will have 60% of their healing / recovery complete by 6 weeks, 80-90% by 6 months. 100% can take as long as 2 years. This is based on wound healing studies and tensile breaking strength of a heal wound. I would consult with the physician that did your procedure to assess the situation or you could always send us photos. The stiffness will get better. Right now you have 30% to go more so keep waiting. But get some help. Benedryl will help the itching. I would consider some pressure dressings, maybe even oral steroids.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

How long does swelling last after Face Lift?

 I have performed Face Lifts for over 20 years including the newer minimal incision variations and for a full (traditional) face lift and Neck Lift, the face and neck can have residual lumps, bumps and swelling for up to 1 year.  This is one of the reasons that the minimal incision face lifts with less dissection, swelling, bruising and recovery time have become so popular.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 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.