Can the Sides of my Neck Be Too Tight After Facelift?

Had face and neck lift Jan. 8th. Got hematoma behind right ear Drained with syr By 18th had hematomas behind both ears Left one smaller. Right one swelled so big scar burst open. Drained by pushing clots through burst area Sewed back Antibiotics Stitch out on 28th Swelling behind ears runs into veins & ligaments on sides of neck Ligaments stick out . So tight it feels like it will tear Stiff and painful. I

Doctor Answers 7

Tightness will get better

I'm sorry to hear about the problems you're experiencing after your facelift. The tightness can last for a couple of months, but it will gradually go away.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Sides of Neck Tight after Hematomas and Face and Neck Lift

    The hematomas increase facial swelling and irritation and can increase tightness at closure sites.  The swelling will go down and the sensation of tightness will diminish.   Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Hematoma after Facelift

Hematomas are common after facelifts. Most are very small and are evacuated in a matter of seconds with a syringe. Larger hematomas may require opening of the wound, irrigation and cauterization to stop all bleeding, as well as re-application of a pressure wrap. This can delay your healing a bit, but should not affect your final result. If questions- always tell your surgeon!

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


A resolving hematoma and associated inflammation can make the face feel much tighter - be patient and follow up with your surgeon

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Facelift, hematoma, scaring, tightness

In addition to the thoughtful comments you have already received, I wonder if the side that had the hematoma is much tighter than the other side. If so then it is either to one of two causes. Thers is excess scarring which for some months with thicken  and tighten the result. After many moths the face will soften and the tight sensation resolve. Or there may be the case that some skin needed to be debrided from that side and the lack of skin resulted in excessive tension. If that is the case then some reconstructive surgery, perhaps with skin grafts may be needed.

Dennis Hurwitz, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Hematomas and healing after a face lift

I am sorry about the hematomas you had after your face lift.
• The tightness is normal after a face lift hematoma.
• Blood is irritating to tissues, scars thicken, then tighten.
• You feel the tightness - it takes months to subside.
• I inject my patients with TINY amounts of steroid to soften thick scars,

  • Ask your surgeon if this might help you and
  • Why you had two hematomas so late after surgery. It is quite rare.

Best wishes!

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Facelift Tightness and Hematoma

Thank you for the question. Without seeing a photo, it is not possible to comment on the tightness or scarring. However, having experienced a hematoma can definitely change the healing process. Blood is irritating to the tissues and causes an inflammatory reaction. This can lead to texture changes in the skin and contour irregularities as you heal. Also, any incision that had to be reopened will heal slower.  There are ways to manage these issues throughout the weeks and months after your facelift -- you should work closely with your surgeon or find another facelift expert to help you.

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 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.