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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 (15)

Jowls after face lift

+3

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.


Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Swelling after ASMAS face left

+1
 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 60 reviews

Swelling after SMAS facelift and fat injections

+1
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

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

+1

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

+1

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 50 reviews

Swelling Following SMAS Facelift

+1

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

+1

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
4.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

SMAS Facelift

+1

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 6 reviews

Facelift swelling

+1

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

Fat grafting is probably the culprit for your extended facial swelling

+1

Given your history of having had a midface lift, previously, I imagine that your face lift was intended to improve the appearance of your lower face (jowls, jaw and neck).  Occasionally, I will recommend structural fat grafting to the cheek hollows, but this technique can prolong the period of post-op swelling.  The fat graft survives by absorbing nutrients from the surrounding tissues and can expand significantly in volume and firmness, as a consequence.  The net effect may appear to you like a worsening of your jowls.  I am confident that the fullness will diminish with time. 

Lavinia Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.