Facelift 2 mos post op: Not sure which side is swollen, the right or the left?

My jaw looked good a week after surgery. But as the swelling subsided the jowls on my right reappeared. The left side still looks good, but that could be because swelling is still filling out the lax skin. But maybe not. Maybe it's the opposite and it's the right that looks like jowls that's still swollen. After all, the right ear is massively swollen. If the right ear is swollen does that mean that this is the side that is swollen?

Doctor Answers 12

Healing Post Facelift

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Dear Bronte64,

I know that it is frustrating to not have your final results immediately, but it is very common for patients to experience asymmetrical swelling at 2 months post op. I don't think it's anything to be concerned about, but to err on the side of caution, you could schedule an appointment with your surgeon so he or she can take a look. Hope this helps.


Kouros Azar

Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Healing after a Facelift

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THanks for your question,

Its not uncommon to notice asymmetries and differences between sides as you heal. This is very common. The best bet is to have your surgeon check and ensure there is nothing else happening. In my experience, there are always frustrating little issues that heal over the first few months. 

Dr James Bonaparte

James Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Ottawa Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Facelift #faceliftrecovery #fatgrafting #beauty #tmbcosmeticsurgery #woundhealing

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Dear Bronte64

Thank you for your questions! There will be some changes in contour with the recovery process.  Your surgeon will best assist you in answering the specifics of your results.

With Warm Regards

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Swelling after facelift

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Congratulations on your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

Swelling takes between 2 weeks to 6 months to settle based on the technique used for your facelift. It is definetively to early to determine the final outcome.

Finally, make sure that your doctor is aware of your process. He should be able to guide you best in your care.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Swelling and asymmetry

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The vast majority of people have some facial asymmetry before their surgery as well and when healing become aware often for the first time when healing from a procedure because they are looking so much more closely. The larger side has more bone support and volume so it typically is the "better" side. At two months after surgery you certainly have residual swelling, and it will likely me many months before you can appreciate your final result. There is a saying that plastic surgeons love slightly swollen patients because that extra bit of volume looks great. "Massively" swollen at 2 months doesn't sound  typical, so maybe a follow-up would help. Look at your pre-op photos while there and see if your pre-existing natural anatomy helps explain what you are seeing now.

Stacey Folk, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Post-op Facelift Asymmetry

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You can have asymmetry two months after surgery but the majority of the swelling should have gone away.  I would meet with your plastic surgeon and have them evaluate you.  Without pictures it is hard to comment.  Take care.

Timothy A. Janiga MD, FACS

Facelift healing

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At 2 months after a facelift, it is possible that there is still some swelling, although it is unusual. I would visit your surgeon to get a better sense of what is going on .  

Mark Karolak, DO, FAOCO
Bridgewater Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Significant asymmetry two months after swelling should be shown to your surgeon.

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Although there is still swelling two months after a facelift there should be substantial symmetry by now. I would suggest you checking with your plastic surgeon. It would also be useful to post photographs.

Post op recovery after facelift

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Hello and thanks for posting your question on RealSelf.com!

Swelling after facial cosmetic procedures can persist easily for several months. Final results are typically assessed no sooner than 6-8 months post procedure. There are lots of nuances associated with the operative procedure that your surgeon may be able to speak to to help you understand why you may more swelling on one side vs the other. 

Having a conversation with your surgeon about your observations and concerns is the best way to proceed. 

Have a great day!


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Usually by about 6-8 weeks most facial swelling has diminished. However, there might be some residual swelling for several more months. If concerned, speak with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.