Within 3 days after surgery I had developed a hard horizontal ridge beneath the chin incision. What is this? (photos)

I am 10 days out of surgery full face lift & eye lift. Within 3 days , I had developed this hard rige under the chin incision. My Dr. Has never seen this but requested I massage & ice a lot, to no avail ,it just ended up bruising the area. There was not a lot of blood during surgery, not much cauterization was used. My surgeon sent photo to a colleague who recommended immediate surgery. I am 66 & in good health. What is going on here & do Should I have surgery(local) again so soon

Doctor Answers 8

Unusual hard lump under chin following surgery

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I am sorry to hear that you've developed this hard lump under your chin. Definitely not normal. Hopefully by now, you have seen you surgeon and gotten revision surgery to correct the problem. It sounds and looks like an accumulation of blood and fluid that will need to be cleaned out.


Kouros Azar

Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Neck ridges

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This is not normal and for the best chance at the best result requires exploration and revision - which timing wise hopefully has already been done. it appears as though either blood or fluid accumulated and this need to be removed/cleaned out and the skin redraped aesthetically again. Done promptly and skillfully, you can still have a good result.

Fluid Collection After A Facelift

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I assume by now you had this treated. If not, I agree with the others. This requires prompt care. James P. Bonaparte

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

Fluid ridge following face and neck lift

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Dear SweetPea6:Not knowing what was performed, this appears to be a fluid reaccumulation along the tunnel the drain was placed. Various options are used but based on your description, the skin has adhered down leaving a ridge with a tunnel of fluid.The sooner this is corrected, the sooner you will be looking much better. If your surgeon is uncomfortable with re-opening the neck skin flap to remove the fluid and redrape the skin, obtain a second opinion for care from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with significant face and neck lift experience.All the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Lumps, Bumps or Swelling after a Facelift

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You appear to have a fluid collection or hematoma that has formed under your skin.  This is a complication from surgery that should be addressed immediately.  I would recommend returning to see your surgeon so he/she can evaluate you in person and decide on a treatment plan with you.  Your situation reiterates the important point that, if you have any concerns or questions about your surgery or healing process, contact your surgeon.  There is no such thing as a silly question or too many questions.  Good communication with your surgeon is essential to both make sure you are well informed about your surgery and give you a resource to evaluate and treat any issues that may arise (such as your case).  If your surgeon is not available or will not see you, insist on another doctor who is able to evaluate you.  No photos or phone conversation can replace an in-person evaluation of what is going on.

Best of luck in your recovery process.

Kyle T. Yamamoto, MD
Reno Facial Plastic Surgeon

Lump under chin after facelift

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Hello.  It looks like you developed a postoperative hematoma, or seroma.  Every case is managed differently, but in general we recommend immediate surgery to remove the fluid.  Fortunately, if recognized early and intervention is correctly performed, most patients recover fine.  But you should expect a prolonged period before you look good.  Good luck.

Kenneth Yu, MD
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Ridge after facelift

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You do have a very peculiar problem. Since I don't know what technique was used for your facelift, I can't be absolutely sure what to do, but you will most likely need that skin redraped. If there is a fluid collection under the skin (and it looks like there is), I would definitely want to evacuate the fluid and try to redrape the redundant skin. If you are concerned about your surgeon, consider a second opinion with a facial rejuvenation specialist before another procedure.Andrew Campbell, M.D.Facial Plastic SpecialistQuintessa Aesthetic Centers

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Face lift - should I go back to the OR

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Thank you for asking about your face lift.
  • It certainly looks in your photo as though you have a hematoma or seroma 
  • Yes, if you were my patient I would want to open the wound and remove all fluid without delay.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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.