Botched Lower Face Lift 18 Months Ago Left Me a Possible Leaking Parotid Gland?

I had a lower face lift 18 months ago, and my PS said the swelling in my cheek that followed was a hematoma that would go away on its own. It hasn't, so I posted here asking about it. The responses were, it could be my parotid gland didn't seal properly and it's causing leakage. I read a few things on this site and they all seem to say if a leaking parotid is the issue, it should have gone away by now. Since it hasn't, what treatment options are available 18 months after the surgery?

Doctor Answers 6

Parotid injury or leak

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Leaks can be treated conservatively or need a more invasive approach as outlines by others on this post. After 18 months , the fluid should be tested and based on that study a plan can be formulated.

Parotid Gland Injury 18 Months Following Facelift

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   If there is a parotid gland injury, the fluid, if present, can be sent to the lab for diagnosis.  Botox and antisialogogues can be used to help with this, but a more formal procedure may be needed in a parotid fistula or duct injury.  Kenneth Hughes, MD facelift Los Angeles, CA

Lower facelift swelling

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Dear Irishspice,

  • Using a needle and syringe to pull the fluid out would help identify it
  • You can even send the fluid for salivary enzymes to diagnose parotid injury
  • That would be the first step
  • If it is a parotid injury, Botox can be injected into the gland to slow saliva production (no surgery at first)

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Sialocele after face lift

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A persistent parotid fistula requires intervention at this point. In many cases, it can be managed medically by placing you on drying agents and pressure but this far out it will likely require surgery. You will need to seek consultation with a head and neck surgeon for evaluation and treatment. You will likely require imaging studies as well to better identify consistency and source of this collection.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon

Botched Lower Face Lift 18 Months Ago Left Me a Possible Leaking Parotid Gland?

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 An injury to the gland may have healed by now but perhaps it's an injury to the Parotid duct that's not prone to such easy resolution.  You might want to see an ENT surgeon for evaluation of the duct and gland.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Face lift

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It is best to get another in person opinion. The diagnosis of parotid fistula, or injury to stenson duct is very difficult to do without seeing you. There are some tests that can be done to confirm such diagnosis.


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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.