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Swelling After Facelift and SMAS Lip Augmention? (photo)

Twelve days ago, which I know realistically isn't very long, I had a face lift and SMAS lip augmentation. To date, I look horrible. My lips are so huge and my cheeks are still very swollen and my face is totally round. I am beginning to be sad and wonder if I have done the right thing. Am I being unrealistic? Will the size of my lips lessen as I sincerely hope?

Doctor Answers 16

Post operative swelling

It is very common to have sad feelings and "buyers remorse" during this early recovery period.  For only 12 days from your facelift surgery, you look to be healing well from your photos.  You still have significant swelling and some resolving bruising which appears appropriate for so soon after surgery. Your facial roundness and fullness in the lips will go down significantly in the next few weeks and you will start to feel more like yourself again.  The post operative swelling may take several months to resolve entirely after a facelift and can vary from one person to the next.  Try to relax and not second guess your decision, everything appears to be just as it should at this point.  

Fairfax Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Lip Size and Facial Swelling at 12 days Following Facelift

      Facial swelling and bruising at your stage is masking your final result and your lips will reduce in size as well.

Swelling after facelift

The kind of swelling you are experiencing is completely normal after the surgery you had.  It is still very early after your facelift and you will not look normal at this stage.  Your lips will get smaller as the swelling subsides.



Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Swelling after SMAS, Lip Augmentation and Resurfacing Procedures

Swelling Varies following SMAS Facelift especially if you also had laser or a peel at same time which it appears you have had as it is pinker in the upper lip/chin areas. The more procedures you have at once the more you swell is a general rule that applies to the majority.

Symptoms of swelling and numbness are not only normal but expected after the first several weeks following a facelift of any sort including a SMAS lift. Most resolves in 2-3 weeks but several weeks are necessary for the rest to go away. It makes sense that structures lower on the face (jowls, upper neck) may have longer swelling than areas higher such as the upper cheek. The lips especially swell following an augmentation.
Patients should expect swelling, discoloration, and bruising of the skin for several weeks following a SMAS face lift.

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

Swelling after facelift surgery is expected

Looks like you also had a resurfacing procedure over your lips and chin area - which further exacerbates the post op swelling that you have. Your facial edema will likely subside in a few weeks and you'll be left with a nice result.

Swelling after Facelift

Dear LHayes62,


as you indicated, it's far too early to judge your final result.  You should see significant improvements in your appearance over the next few weeks/months. 



Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Swelling as shown in your pictures at two weeks does occur.

Swelling like you show can happen and can be improved by several things:

  • Sleep with your head elevated.
  • Exercise is helpful, but keep your head elevated.
  • You might have a mild diuretic prescibed by your plastic surgeon or medical doctor.

Fortunately this sort of swelling will pass and your result should be good.

Dr. Mayl

Fort Lauderdale

Nathan Mayl, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Facelift and swelling

Swelling is going to be the big issue for the next several weeks. Give it time to settle down before getting too upset.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews


you do appear to have a significant amount of swelling and bruising. Be patient (hard), you are going to see a lot of change in the next 2 months.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Swelling After Facelift and SMAS Lip Augmention?

Possible you are also having some type of allergic reaction. But in most cases you need 2 to 4 weeks of healing time. 

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.