I am 96 hours post op for a S-Lift and have developed fluid

When will this subside I have been drained twice daily for three days. Will this effect the S-Lift results? My Ps wants to limit drainage due to infection risk. It is extremely painful in front of and below my ear when the fluid develops. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Seroma after S lift

Thanks for reaching out.  It sounds like you may have a seroma.  Having the fluid collection there can negatively affect the results but an infection would be worse.  In sure your surgeon is making the right decision, and any off results could be addressed with a revision or a touch up.

I hope this helps :)

Livingston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Fluid discharge following facelift

Dear ente14.

Sorry for your troubles. It sounds like your surgeon is caring for you well. The fluid may be a seroma (tissue fluid collection), hematoma (bloody fluid collection) or salivary fluid collection. Infection is always a concern following surgery and the fluid accumulation may require a drain to hasten healing. In general, no untoward outcome or deformity should arise. 

Continue to follow your surgeons recommendations. I wish you well!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Keep addressing this

Your best results will occur if the problem is addressed on an ongoing basis.  If you re develop fluid, you should keep going to your plastic surgeon for treatment.  Sometimes it might require placement of a suction drain or pressure dressing.  If its actual bleeding, sometimes re exploration is rarely indicated.  Its unfortunate that you have to deal with this and I can't tell you when it will subside.  It usually does but its best to keep up your diligence in getting it treated.

Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS
Ontario Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Seroma following S-Lift

It is not particularly common to develop that much fluid following a mini facelift.  If the fluid is not bloody then it may be a seroma or even a salivary fistula.  Your plastic surgeon is obviously concerned with the collection of fluid and seems to be on top of the situation.  Opening the wound and placing a drain in the wound may be necessary to prevent collection of fluid and the potential for tissue injury and compromise of your surgical results. 

Philip S. Schoenfeld, MD, FACS
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

I am 96 hours post op for a S-Lift and have developed fluid

Draining he fluid is preferred to allow the skin to reattach properly.The infection risk is small with proper techniques of aspiration

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews


If you are developing fluid like a seroma or worse a hematoma, you likely need to have it evacuated.  Best of luck. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

S-lift - collection of fluid around ear

Thank you for asking about your S-lift.

  • Usually I drain any seroma (clear fluid) collection with a needle after any face lift.
  • Otherwise the fluid can cause thick tissue that takes a long, long time to soften.
  • But such fluid is rarely painful.
  • It sounds as though your surgeon is doing the right thing -
  • But do ask her/him if there is any concern that this is from the parotid gland - and what additional treatments and studies may be needed to manage this. 
  • Always consult 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

Seroma drainage

Although uncommon, a seroma is a fluid collection in an area of surgery. This fluid accumulates because of the opening of lymphatic channels. Eventually the channels reestablish themselves. This rarely requires placing a drain to collapse pocket. More commonly several aspirations are sufficient along with pressure and time to resolve the issue.

Richard O. Gregory, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 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.