Allergic Reaction to Dissolvable Sutures After Mini-facelift?

7 weeks after having a mini-facelift, I'm having trouble with unrelenting tightness/pulling and occasional pain around the incisions. Some days the symptoms are very tolerable and other days my entire head is a mass of pain. My PS tells me he thinks it may be an allergic reaction to the dissolvable sutures. He recommended Zyrtec but it doesn't help. I can’t use ibuprofen because of high blood pressure. Does an allergy seem possible? If not, can you suggest what I can do to get relief? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 5

Pain 2 months following facelift

Your symptoms of unrelenting tightness/pulling and occasional pain around the incisions is not typical of an allergic reaction.  I suspect that these symptoms will slowly resolve with time. If pain is a major concern, and acetaminophen is not enough you might do well with a medication for atypical pain syndrome if symptoms persist or get worse over the next month. Tightness can be present as a normal symptom for several months depending on the technique.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Allergic Reaction to Sutures

   I have never seen this, but these materials are foreign bodies and have the potential to generate an inflammatory reaction if not an allergic reaction.  The tightness usually resolves with time, and part of this is the unavoidable consequence of tightening the tissues to improve the look of the face.  However, tissues always relax over time, which usually helps with this.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Allergic Reaction to Dissolvable Sutures After Mini-facelift?

Allergy to suture material is incredibly uncommon. In fact, I have not seen this nor have any of my colleagues. The tightness that you're experiencing is not unusual but should resolve with time as your tissues slightly relax. Pain is a difficult issue to address. If you have underlying headaches or if this discomfort does not resolve you might benefit from a referral to a neurologist or pain specialist. I would discuss this at the next visit with your plastic surgeon. I hope this discomfort begins to improve soon for you.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Allergic Reaction to Dissolvable Sutures After Mini-facelift?

Your symptoms are not usual with mini facelift. Tightness is common for several weeks and  

should be treated with pain medications and warm compresses.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Face lift

Allergic reaction to sutures is very unusual. Git a second opion by a board certified plastic surgeon

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 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.