65 Y/o Man, 6 Days Post Op of a Face/neck Lift?

I am bruised as expected but is is slowlly resolving. The swelling in my zygoma area is relatively hard. Would it help to gently massage that area (no incisions in the area) with a mild mositurizer to help reduce the the hardness fastter?

Doctor Answers 9

Swelling 6 days post facelift

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Hard to say anything without photos. It sounds like you are going through the normal post operative course. One does have to look for fluid collections after surgery. Ice and elevation will help swelling. Please do contact your surgeon and let him/her know your concerns. They may also have protocols in their office for swelling as well.

Recovery after facelift

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While it is not uncommon to have some temporary swelling and firmness after facelift surgery, it's best to contact your surgeon to make sure that you are not having any complications in your recovery.  If there are no complications, I don't think massaging would do any harm, but it may not help either.  Again, it's best to check with your own surgeon since he or she knows the most about your particular procedure.    

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Hard Swelling After Facelift

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Avoid massaging in first 2-3 weeks. You may use a warm compresses, though you should check with your doctor to make sure it is not a hematoma or blood collection.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Localized firm swelling after facelift.

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Any localized firm swelling following facelift should first be assessed to exclude the possibility of representing a blood collection, ie. hematoma.  Otherwise, mild massage should not be a problem at this point and in fact can improve edema dispersion. 

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS, FRCSC, FACS.


Zygomatic swelling

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you need to exclude haematoma or seroma. Otherwise it is possible that the hardness you are feeling is bunched up SMAS from fixation of a MACS pursestring suture. See you surgeon to discuss it, but at 6 days it is very very early still and all will soften and settle.

Swelling 6 days after a facelift

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It is very common to have persistent swelling 3-4 weeks and even longer after facelift surgery. The face and neck can feel hard, especially in the cheek region. I recommend a pressure dressing and compliance with your surgeon's post-op instructions. I would also follow up with your surgeon to ensure that you are healing according to plan.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Postop Facelift

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At 6 days postop, I would avoid massage or compresses. Your swelling and bruising will resolve in time. Massage or warm compresses may cause other problems. Discuss postop care further with your surgeon. Best wishes on your recovery.

65 year old face lift

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First of all, you are 25 years younger than my oldest male facelift. At six days post op this may be residual swelling, remember you are not a spring chicken. The concern of course is a hematoma or blood collection in this area. This would usually occur one one side only and be extremely rare to be at both sides at the same time. The clue is pain and increased brusing. Otherwise some heat (careful as you might not have total feeling in this area ) and some gentle massages and a little tincture of time.  

No massaging post op wounds for at least 2-4 weeks

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As I don't know what particular technique was used for your facelift procedure I cannot give you a yes or no answer to this question. I would recommend speaking to your surgeon to see if he/she is comfortable with gentle massage of the wound. You may have developed a small hematoma in the zygoma area. Another likely possibility is that you are developing some normal body response to sutures that are securing the mobilized soft tissue and muscle underneath the skin. These sutures are often the strength to your facelift results. My recommendation to my own patients after SMAS or extended SMAS facelift surgery is not to perform any gentle massage over the skin flap unless specifically asked to do so. Again, I would speak with your surgeon to see what he/she is comfortable with.

Kristina Tansavatdi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 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.