Swelling or Sagging in Jowl Area After Facelift?

I am six weeks out from face lift and submentoplasty. Swelling in jowl area is starting to recede and now one side seems to be sagging. How can I tell if this is swelling/puffiness from the surgery or if it is a return of jowl sagging where it wasn't totally corrected. Will the skin tighten when the swelling subsides?

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling at the jowl region after facelift

Thank you for your question for sharing your concerns with us. Swelling and firmness in the tissues will return to normal as time passes by. Between the first and second week, much of your swelling and bruising will dissipate. It may take more than a month or two for your tissues to fully soften and any residual swelling to resolve. Lymphatic massage maybe an option to help clear the swelling and firmness at a faster pace. I would make sure that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon during this period of time.

Face lift swelling / jowls returning after 6 weeks

This is not uncommon after 6 weeks. At this point you likely have around 60% 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 recurring jowls could be swelling that could subside but it could be the recurrence of the jowling. There are many factors that lead to recurrence or longevity of your face and neck lift. If it is hard and slightly tender could be swelling that could subside. If it is soft and it could be the recurrence. I would have to see it for myself. I would consult with your physician to see what the next steps are. There are ways to help your swelling. We have a nice page on that below.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Swelling or residual jowls after a facelift

It is too early to say at six weeks whether or not jowls are present or if there is just fluid retention in the jowl area. It is best to wait at least three to four months before making any final determinations if any revision facelift needed to further tighten the jowls.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Facelift should last a long time

Depends on what type of procedure you had done. If it was a "quickie" lift, going by various names, the results could be less than ideal. If it was a traditional facelift, several layer, performed by a reputable plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of PLastic Surgery, the results should last quite a long time and surely not this short.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Swelling or sagging in jowl area after facelift

Very unusual to see this. My guess is, because you did not post photos, a poor result. Go get a second opinion.

Good Luck from MIAMI DR. B

Depends on how your facelift was done

Depending on the technique used for your facelift you may still find that there is swelling which will subside.

However, if there is still significant jowling after 6 weeks, it may be that enough was not done to correct the jowling in the first place.

At this point and depending on your level of confidence in your surgeon, you should see your surgeon in your regularly appointed visits to see what they recommend. If you are not getting the answers you need, you may then want to consider a second opinion in a few moths.

I  hope that helps.

Warm Regards.

Peyman Solieman, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Swelling after a Facelift

Hi ,

Swelling 6 weeks after a facelift is unusual. Although occasionally one may have some residual clotted blood that may cause this. The swelling is usually associated with bruising. At this point your skin will not tighten but continue to loosen as the tissues relax.



Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 252 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.