Brusing and Swelling After Blepharoplasty and Mid-Face Lift

Three and 1/2 weeks ago, I had a lower Blepharoplasty and a mid-face lift. I am still swollen and bruised under my eyes. Why is it taking so long to go away? When will it go away? Also I just read about Arnica, so I just now started taking it with Bromelain. Will this help with my bruising and swelling since I did not start it right away?

Doctor Answers 10

Ask your surgeon.

It is hard to tell if what you describe is normal or not. There are several ways to do a mid-face lift. Each produces different amounts and duration of bruising and swelling. In addition, each person will retain the bruising and swelling differently. Three weeks is, also, not a very long time, and to still have bruising and swelling with many methods is not that unusual. The only way to know whether what you have is “normal” or not is to ask your surgeon.

Although Arnica and Bromelin work best if started at the time of surgery, there is still some chance they will speed the residual recovery.

Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Bruising After Facial Cosmetic Surgery

It's not unusual for patients to experience swelling and bruising following combination facelift and blepharoplasty surgery. These problems are often related to the extent of the surgical dissection. Both bruising and swelling have usually resolved within two to three weeks of surgery, but occasionally last for longer periods of time.

It's difficult to make a specific recommendation without pictures or a physical examination. In general terms, bruising and swelling can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity, elevating the head, ice compresses and low salt diets. Although both Arnica and Bromelain are popular, there's no scientific data to support their use.

It's important for patients who have severe bruising and swelling to maintain close contact with their plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to reassure you and minimize your anxiety.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Swelling after eyelid surgery

Thank you for your question for sharing your concerns with us. Swelling and bruising in the tissues will return to normal as time passes by. Between the first and second week, much of your swelling and bruising will dissipate, but in your case, it may take longer as you also had a mid face lift.  Lymphatic massage maybe an option to help clear the swelling and firmness at a faster pace. I would make sure that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon during this period of time.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Facial bruising after surgery

Bruising is expected after eyelid and facial surgery and it usually resolves after 7 to 10 days.  Persistent bruising and discoloration of the soft tissues can occur.  There is really no magic cure as this will ultimately resolve on its own.  Occasionally alternating warm and cool compresses can help as well as on over the counter herbal product, Bromelean.  The usual antibruising dose is 500 mg twice a day between meals.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Midface lift swelling lasts longer than a standard facelift

Typically swelling lasts longer after a midface lift compared to a standard facelift; this is normal. Bruising can vary as well. Many patients find that it takes 6 weeks to be "church/socially presentable". The Arnica cannot hurt although it probably won't do too much.

Continue to keep your head elevated as much as possible, use ice compresses, and avoid extra salt. This will all resolve-it just takes time. Tell your plastic surgeon's office staff that you need a little hand-holding; some words of encouragement and reassurances go a long way during the early recovery period. Hope this helps.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Swelling and Bruising after Blepharoplasy & Cheek-lift

While your swelling sounds like it has lasted longer than normal, be patient, not concerned. Your experience is possible with this surgery. Arnica will be beneficial. Ask your surgeon for other recommendations to accelerate your recovery.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Swelling takes longer to resolve

The bruising should be gone after three-and-a-half weeks from a blepharoplasty and a mid facelift. The swelling will still be there and may take upwards of two months to settle down. It will go away. Arnica and bromelain can help with the bruising and swelling and is okay to start taking those medications at this point.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

A cheek lift always takes longer to heal

When a cheeklift is performed, the dissection is carried through several tissue planes to right on top of the bone. This affects the usual drainage of the face which in turn prolongs the swelling. It will certainly continue to improve with time, but arnica will probably not help at this point.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 204 reviews

Everyone is different, but it may take time for the swelling to resolve

Everyone is different, so it is difficult to give you an accurate estimation of how long swelling and bruising takes to go away. However, after midface lift, you should expect an extended time for swelling and possibly bruising. Taking the Arnica Montana may help and it won't hurt - so, you might as well do it. Good luck with your recovery.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

It will take a while

I must admit that I love to do the mid-face lift on the right patient. It almost always has to be done with a lower lid blepharoplasty because of the excess skin that is recruited from the lower lid/cheek. There are two downsides to the mid-face life. First, this lift often gives patients a very rounded/full facial appearance. This okay for some but not everyone. The second problem is that the dissection occurs at the bone level. Because of this it take quite a long time for the swelling to resolve, usually months.

I don't think Anica works but it probably don't hurt. So be patient and I'm sure in time you'll enjoy your result.

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 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.