Bald Spot After Swollen Lymph Nodes from Facelift

5 weeks ago I had brow lift, upper and lower eyes, jowl and neck lift. I was 4 hours on the table. Waking up I had 2 very swollen and painful lymph nodes on the back of my head. After about 14 days they went down, but now there is Alopecia were they were swollen. about 2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Apart from antibiotics for surgery recovery, I had a terrible cough from the flem from breathing tube and had to take second course of antibiotics to get rid of cough. Will my hair grow back?

Doctor Answers 9

Facelift and Hair loss


  Thank you for including a photograph with your question.  It helps make a meaningful discussion about your concerns a little more attainable.  Hair loss that occurs on the back of the head and not located next to the surgical field is uncommon, but fortunately is usually only temporary. 


  Stress-induced hair loss can happen for a variety of reasons, increased levels of cortisol during the recovery period, pressure sores from positioning of the head during surgery, or other events. 

  When the hair shaft falls off the hair follicle that is underneath the skin goes into a resting period for about 90 days.  Hopefully after a period of 3 months you will begin to see fine, baby hairs growing in the areas of the loss.  I would encourage daily use of women’s rogaine during this period.  If I am certain that the hair loss is due to stress I like to inject the area with 10% Kenalog as well.  But frequently, a little bit of patience is all that is required.



Hope this helps.

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

What are side effects of a facelift?

Facelifts have many different side effects or risks associated with them

  • bleeding / hematoma
  • infection
  • asymmetry
  • skin loss
  • nerve injury
  • etc

A less common side effect of any surgery and anesthesia (not necessaryily only a facelift) is stress induced hair loss called alopecia areata.  You can read more about it at this website

It is usually completely reversible when associated with surgery or stress.

You can also have alopecia from pressure on the scalp after surgery but it is almost always after operations lasting more than 6 hours.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 271 reviews

Bald Spot after Facelift

   The bald spot could be due to stress of procedure or pressure at the time of surgery.   I would wait a few months and reassess.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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


Your hair loss is concerning. It's possible you have some "shock" hair loss. My associate is Dr. Gary Hitzig who is the leading authority in the world for Regenerative Medicine and hair loss. Observation may be the only option in the short term however you may reach out to Dr. Hitzig through nyhairloss for further guidance.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Bald spot following surgery

Sorry to hear about your experience following surgery. The side effects of a neck lift may include:


1) Swelling
2) Bruising
3) Temporary numbness
4) Nerve injury that is usually temporary but can sometimes be permanent

Occasionally, hair loss can result from stress or trauma. When this is the case, it is usually temporary and will grow back during your next hair cycle.  In the meantime, an over the counter remedy such as Rogaine would be a safe option that can help your hair return.  I would recommend seeing your surgeon, as he/she knows the details of your surgery and will be able to help determine the exact cause of your hair loss.  Thanks and good luck!

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Bald spot following multiple facial procedurs

Thank you for the question. There are no lymph nodes in that area. I think what happened is pressure necrosis of the skin from the position on the operating table. It is a good the the area of baldness is small and you can cover it. Recovery can be spontaneous, rogain may/may not help.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Bald spot alopecia after face lift browlift

This could be because some blood flow was interrupted after the browlift. Just the stress of the surgery could have lead to this. I would wait at least 6 months before doing anything drastic.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

This may be telogenic hair loss

It is possible that the hair loss is associated with the trauma of the facelift.  This type of hair loss typically is not permanent and after several months, the hair begins to return.  Rogaine is a reasonable suggestion that will cause little harm.  You might also consider seeing your dermatologist.  Occasionally this type of hair loss can be associated with inflammation and may respond to anti-inflammatory treatment.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Alopecia after facelift

I dont know of any lymph nodes where you got alopecia. Perhaps it is from the pressure on your back of head. I would recommend Rogaine to the area which works in many instances.

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 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.