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Steroids Injections to Reduce Swelling After Facelift?

Postop 7 weeks facelift, and necklift. Still have swelling near earlobe. My PS wants to wait 6 more weeks, before steroid injections. What is you opinion, should i give it more time to heal? Are there any side effects of steroids?

Doctor Answers 22

Facelift and steroid injections

I would tend to agree with your plastic surgeon's reccommendation to wait 6 more weeks. The scars are immature and the swelling in that area sometimes takes 3 months to resolve on its own. Massage may help. One thing about facelifts: they look better and better with time as the swelling goes down. The trouble is that we want to look better yesterday!

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Steroid Injections if and only if adequate time has passed

Your surgeon has given you very sound advice.  Steroid injections can be useful in areas of excess incisional inflammation, but should only be used when acute and subacute inflammation have subsided.  The form of steroid used (usually kenalog) works via a catabolic mechanism, breaking down tissue.  This catabolic nmechanism is non-selective and can affect normal tissue also.  Allow a tincture of time to pass and don't watch the water boil!

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Steroid injections for facelift swelling.

I agree with your doctor. Steroid injections for swelling "lumps" after a facelift can cause the surrounding fat to sink in. If it becomes a persistent lump then it should be injected carefully to avoid this.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Steroids for face lift swelling.

Thank you for your question about steroid injections for ear lobe swelling after a face lift.

  1. If the ear lobe swelling is very hard and caused by blood collections after surgery, a cautious steroid injection may help. 
  2. Even so, your surgeon can be right to wait. 
  3. Steroids have many side-effects. They can make scars thin, wide, red and indented.
  4. A recent article suggests that lidocaine injections without steroid can soften scar safely after a face lift. I have found it works sometimes. Ask your surgeon about this. 

Steroid Injections For Swelling

Thank you for your question. Steroid injections can be useful in areas of excess incisional inflammation, but should only be used when acute and subacute inflammation have subsided. Steroid injections while helping to break down swelled tissue have no control and often break down normal tissue as well, further complicating the situation.

Ramtin Kassir, MD
Wayne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Use steroids with caution following surgery...

It’s not unusual for patients to experience significant swelling following facelift surgery. In the vast majority of patients, swelling resolves with the passage of time. For this reason, steroid injections aren’t usually indicated to treat this problem.
Steroids are occasionally indicated to treat adverse scarring in the late post-operative period. Unfortunately, steroids may be associated with skin atrophy, scar spread, hypopigmentation and redness. For these reasons, steroids should be used with caution when treating adverse scarring following facelift surgery.

Steroids and facelift

I do not perform steroid injections do reduce swelling.  At your point, it is not surprising that you may have some swelling or lumps.  Your surgeon should check to make sure there are no problems, but I would not rush into steroid injections.  They can cause thinning if the skin and atrophy of the underlying tissue.  

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Steroid injections after facelift

  I use steroid injections to treat scars after facelift surgery.  that said, at seven weeks your incisions are still going through normal healing and a normal remolding process.  I think you should wait longer and use scar cream conscientiously before considering steroid injections.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Steroid Injections May Cause Atrophy of the Skin

I generally do not like steroid injections for reducing swelling as it may cause atrophy of the skin and fat in an unpredictable manner. Instead, I suggest and prefer using 5FU/steroid mixture only for excessive scar tissue formation on rare occasions, which does not cause atrophy.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Steroid Injections - use as a last resort

Short answer: Give it more time to heal

Steroid injections are not commonly used for postoperative swelling. I think your plastic surgeon has given good advise to wait. Steroids like most medications have side effects and complications  such as hypopigmentation, fat atrophy, increased suggestibility to infection, potentially wider scars, and so on.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 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.