Swelling in SMAS area after facelift?

I am 3 days post-op after a face and neck lift. I know there is still a lot of swelling and that much of it will resolve itself. However, my lower face looks so wide in comparison to my upper face and the SMAS area is quite numb. Is there typically a lot of swelling in the SMAS area near the ears?

Doctor Answers (6)

Swelling especially in the cheek areas very common after SMAS facelift

+1
So early after facelift is very common to have swelling after facelift surgery.

In particular SMAS plication can often have accentuated swelling in the cheek area.  This almost always resumes to normal after a few weeks.


Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Swelling After Facelift

+1
Swelling is normal after a facelift.  The amount of swelling and the duration varies from patient to patient.  Follow your PS's recovery instructions and you should be fine.

Earl Stephenson, Jr, MD, DDS, FACS

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Swelling after SMAS facelift

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Hi Swelling can take weeks (rarely months) to resolve after this type of surgery - it is early days at present. Try to be patient at this stage and wait until all the postoperative changes have finished before assessing things. If you are really concerned then Dr Vodder type Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatments or Omnilux treatments may help. Regards Dr Charles Cope

Charles Cope, MD
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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SMAS facelift swelling 3 days post op.

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Hard to say anything without photos. You are too early to make any statements about long term results. There will be swelling, and some contour irregularities. One has to also look for fluid accumulation, etc. Best to inform your surgeon about your concerns. Together you will make a plan to get through the post operative course.

Jeffrey Roth, MD
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Swelling and SMAS

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At a few days after sugery, swelling is normal and will subside over time. Be patient with the swelling.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
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Swelling after face/neck lift

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Swelling is typically at the worst around 2-3 days after surgery.  Since your face/neck lift was 3 days ago, you are probably seeing your swelling at the peak.  It is not unusual to have some numbness as well.  Both of these issues should improve with more time, but it can take 6-12 months for all of the healing to occur.  If you have any concerns, I would recommend contacting your surgeon to be evaluated.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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