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Is There Anything That Can Speed Up Reducing Swelling After A Lower Face Lift and Neck Lipo?

Doctor Answers (17)

Treating Swelling After Facelift surgery

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Keep the head elevated as much as possible and sleep with several pillows under your head and shoulders. Avoid salty foods as they will make you retain water, and keep hydrated. VitaMedica has great supplements with Bromelain and Arnica that aids in recovery. Good Luck!


San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Vitamins and Lymphatic Drainage

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There are multiple things you can do to speed up swelling reduction such as compression, vitamins, lymphatic drainage massage, and elevation. Most physicians will use a compression bandage or a chin strap for a varying amount of time after the surgery to speed up reduction of swelling. Additionally, Bromelain and other vitamins can speed up the recovery process. Lymphatic drainage treatment by a specifically trained massage therapist can also be beneficial. Your surgeon may also recommend sleeping with your head elevated above your heart (propped on several pillows) for the next week to help.

Kristina Tansavatdi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Reduce Swelling Following Facelift and Lipo

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Cool compresses with elevation of your head on pillows can be beneficial initially, followed by pressure. Lymphatic drainage massage has also been helpful. It's also important for patients not to be too active and to allow time for the swelling to resolve. The major swelling should fade after a week or 2. If it lasts longer, contact your surgeon.

Wandra K. Miles, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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Swelling after Facelift

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For our patients we recommend cold compresses 15 min every hour for the first 3 days. After that, our patients switch to warm applications. In addition, all of our facelift patient are scheduled to have a lymphatic drainage massage with additional benefit. Homeopathic products such as arnica montana do not hurt either - how much they help is unclear. Lastly and most importantly, patience is necessary. 

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

It's all about fluid

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When one has an operation like a face lift where natural tissue relationships are altered, our body responds with inflammation.  This is not infection, but the body's response to the stress of the operation.  Among the effects is accumulation of fluid in the tissue. This can be addressed by physical means, such as elevation (so the fluid can run "downhill"), compression, lymphatic massage or ultrasound (after 10 days or so).  These all help. Physiologic measures, such as low sodium intake or use of medications that modulate the inflammatory response (e.g., bromelain, an extract of pineapple plant stems or arnica montana, an herb).  It is important for your surgeon to address the likely postoperative things before the operation so they are anticipated and understood.  This aids in both the level of comfort with what is happening and the patient's ability to do appropriate things when issues like swelling arise.  Patience is a virtue here. 

Jeffrey G. Copeland, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Depends on how many days past surgery.

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I agree with much of the other posted advice. Namely, compression, head elevation, arnica gel, and bromelain are very useful. I think in the first week cold compresses are helpful but by the second week if there is still noticeable swelling then alternating between warm and cold compresses can be more helpful. We advise our patients to apply a warm compress followed immediately by a cold one several times a day and this seems to help considerably. However, I stress that this should be done in the second week and not the first because if done too early it can actually make things worse. Best of luck

Ravi Dahiya, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

The speed of resolution of swelling after facelift for the most part genetically determined.

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There are a few things that can assist in improving modestly the rate of healing after facelift. Number one avoid high salt intake. Modest compression garments may help the neck. Elevation can also make a difference.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Swelling can be difficult to control

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Thanks for your question. Try to avoid looking down and keep your head propped up. Sleeping on a wedge or pillows is helpful. Avoid salt and maintain hydration. I do not like to bandage because I think it can impair lymphatic drainage. I do agree that Arnica tablets are helpful. Best of luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Rapid recovery

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Keeping your head elevated, and limiting activity are key components of decreasing swelling. I personally also leave a drain in for two to three days, and that has done more to reduce early swelling than anything else.

Patti A. Flint, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Decrease bruising and swelling

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in addition to resting and maintaining the head elevated, we recommend bromolene and arnica for our facelift patients.

Marcelo Ghersi, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 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.