It is 8 days after my lower face/jowls/neckline surgery. I still can only drink juice or eat soft food. Is this normal? (Photo)

I have severe pain in my jaws., both sides, up and down when I eat something other than soft food. When can expect this to change.

Doctor Answers 11

Pain in Jaw after Facelift surgery

Thanks for your question, 

it is not uncommon to experience this. Some surgeons use stiches near an area where some of your muscles attach and it can cause a bit of tightness. It almost always resolves by 2 weeks. 

Stay positive and keep in touch with your surgeon.

Dr Bonaparte

Ottawa Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Chewing Pain After Facelift

From your limited photos it appears you are healing well and sorry for the discomfort with chewing. It should resolve soon for most. I often recommend sugarless gum after a week is still some discomfort.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Severe pain in jaw areas 8 days after surgery

Around one week pain with masticating is normal.  Your right side appears to be healing well.

I would continue to follow up and ask questions from your surgeon.

I anticipate your discomfort will relsove.

Ernest Robinson, MD
Aliso Viejo Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

It is 8 days after my lower face/jowls/neckline surgery. I still can only drink juice or eat soft food. Is this normal?

Your result looks good. I expect that your discomfort will be gone by 3 weeks. Of course it is best to see your surgeon and not rely on internet advice.

Face lift - severe jaw pain after a week

Thank you for asking about your face lift.

  • Unless you are seeing improvement every day - in which case the problem is likely to be swelling - you should have your surgeon examine you.
  • The jaw can be tight for several days afterward a face lift, but more than a week is a bit unusual.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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


This is quite unusual.  Some discomfort is not uncommon for a few days, but actual pain beyond a day or two is not typical. I don't see anything unusual in your photograph.  Best to discuss this with your surgeon as soon as possible.

R. Scott Yarish, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Pain with eating following facelift surgery

Hi, Patsy!  Thanks for your question.  It's not exceptionally uncommon for my patients to have some mild discomfort with eating after a facelift procedure.  The tissues that are lifted and sutured overlie the strong chewing muscles in the cheeks (called the masseters).  As swelling and inflammation resolves, so should the discomfort.  Generally, 80% of the swelling is resolved by the end of the second week.  Use the pain medication as directed by your surgeon and follow the diet recommended.  I tell my patients to follow a no chew or soft diet early on.  If the problem does not improve or worsens, please see your treating surgeon.  I hope you find this information useful, and enjoy your more youthful appearance.  Salud!

-Dr. Schmidt

As always, please remember that this response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a patient-physician relationship.

Jeffrey L. Schmidt, MD
Englewood Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Pain with chewing after facelift

It occasionally happens that you will have discomfort with chewing following facelift surgery.  Usually this is short lived and can easily be addressed with anti-inflammatory medicines like Tylenol.  If the pain is severe, narcotic medicine can be used.  Once the inflammation has settled down most patients resume a normal diet within 1-2 weeks if not sooner.  It is always best to discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Sean R. Weiss, MD, FACS
New Orleans Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Healing after facial surgery

Facelifting surgery typically involves tightening and lifting the muscles of facial expression and chewing; this often results in soreness and muscle tightness in the post-operative period.  While every person heals differently, the majority of patients describes resolution of muscle soreness in 1-2 weeks after surgery.  I usually recommend soft foods for 1 week post-operatively to avoid irritating these muscles further.  While your photo does not show worrisome findings, no one is privy to the details of your treatment like your surgeon.  For this reason, you would do well to check in with him/ her for a follow-up.  Good luck in your recovery!

Inessa Fishman, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Eating after facelift surgery

Everyone heals at their own body's pace. If it hurts, we usually recommend to not do it. Maintaining good nutrition with protein is important especially after surgery as the body and the face needs fuel for it to heal. If there is new or worsening pain, it is important to maintain follow up with your board certified plastic surgeon to see if there is another explanation for the pain. Best, MMT

Marissa Tenenbaum, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 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.