Ask a doctor

Swelling After SMAS Facelift

Had smas lift and jowls are still swollen after 4 weeks post up. Also had fat injections. This is the second one - had a mid face lift 2 years ago.

How long does swelling usually last after a SMAS facelift?

Doctor Answers 16

Jowls after face lift

Something doesn't sound right to me. You should not have jowls after a face lift. I think a trip back to your doctor with a frank discussion is in order.

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Swelling after a SMAS Lift

Swelling after a SMAS lift can last for several weeks. Having facial fat injections at the same time, the swelling can be more dramatic and take longer to resolve. By 4 weeks, you should expect most of the swelling to resolve. If you are still concerned, it would be good to see your surgeon for follow-up evaluation. Good luck.

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Swelling after ASMAS face left

 It is normal to have swelling after a facelift and fat injections, since it's only been 4 weeks since the surgery. Full healing will take 3-4 months before all the swelling has subsided. For many examples and more information, please see the link below to our facelift  photo gallery

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Swelling after SMAS facelift and fat injections

Thank you for the photos. You are too early to make any statements about long term results. There will be swelling, but 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
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Expect more swelling when fat injections and a facelift are done together

At 4 weeks out you are still early in the healing phase. While the majority of swelling from a SMAS facelift is gone by 2 weeks additional swelling can persist for up to 6 months.

The addition of fat injections to a facelift procedure will only increase the swelling. This is one reason why I do the fat injections in stages - makes for less swelling and helps the fat survive better.

You also had a history of previous surgery and this will result in more swelling as well due to the old scar tissue and changes in lymphatic drainage.

Hang in there, with more time you will start to see nice improvements!

Dr. J

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Swelling Varies following SMAS Facelift

Swelling and Numbness Normal after SMAS Facelift
The 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.
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 62 reviews

Swelling Following SMAS Facelift

Four weeks following a facelift is a pretty short amount of time.  Most of the swelling should be gone by about six weeks after the surgery, but it may last for several months.  You may find that the swelling will persist even longer in the areas that were treated with fat grafting.

Michael Sundine, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Swelling after SMAS face lift

This is not uncommon after 4 weeks. At this point you likely have around 50% 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.  The fat injections could take up to 2-3 months to really start looking good.  And it can keep improving for another year.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

SMAS Facelift

I tell most of my patients that you loose 80% of your swelling by 6 weeks after surgery.  The remaining 20% may take several more months to resolve.  You can expect your final results to be anywhere from 6-12 months after the initial surgery.

Jenifer L. Henderson, MD
Silverdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Facelift swelling

You mentioned that you are 4 weeks post facelift and fat grafting. 4 weeks is just a short time after the procedure. It may take months for all the swelling to go away.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.