Why does my face look round like a football after face & neck lift?

51yr& had a face & neck lift. Its been 9 days since surgery the muscles under my cheek were lifted &stiched back to place, now my face looks like a football, or like an alien with a pointy chin , before surgery I had a sculpted appearance & a heart shaped face. I know have swelling but looking at other people's pictures day 9 after surgery they look swollen but they dont look like a football face. If my round face is not due to swelling can something be done to get a more sculpted face?

Doctor Answers 20

9 days post-op

Hello, and thank you for the question. 9 days is still very soon after surgery and there is a great deal of swelling present. In general, it can take 6-12 months for the final result to be evident. I would recommend following up with your surgeon regarding any post-operative concerns, as he/she knows the details of your procedure and will be able to advise you. I hope this information helps, and I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your recovery. 

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Why does my face look round like a football after face & neck lift?

Your description does sound somewhat unusual nearly ten days after surgery.  Presumably you've been checked by your surgeon to rule out the possibility of a hematoma or collection of blood.  Assuming that you've been checked it will also help to avoid salty foods such as instant oatmeal, canned soups and Chinese food for the time being. If your surgeon feels that your swelling is excessive, he/she might consider a medrol dosepack for you for a rapid response.  I hope these general guidelines and suggestions help.  Regards,

Jon Perlman MD FACS

ABPS Bd Certified Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills, CA.

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Healing and Recovery After Your Facial Procedure

First and foremost, its best to remain patient. It is still early in to your recovery. The healing process in general can take up to one month for the majority of swelling to subside, incisions to close, sutures to come out, and for bruising to completely go away.
#Recovery time from a #facelift varies from person to person, but patients can generally expect to be presentable within three weeks from surgery. Patients should expect swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the skin during this phase of recovery (swelling normally goes down after 48 hours; most bruising will go away within two weeks). The marks from a facelift can easily hidden with “camouflage” make-up which you can learn how to apply.
The scars from a facelift mature within six to twelve months from the surgery date. It is during this time that the rejuvenating effects of the facelift will become apparent and the real result will be seen. If you have certain concerns about the procedures and #healing process, it is recommended to call your board-certified surgeon or their medical staff and discuss those #concerns.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews


It truly is too soon to predict what your final results will be. It takes 6 months to see a close representation for your final results. And it will continue to improve the following 6 months to the 1 year mark. I recommend that you concern yourself less about what you look like now and more on just positive healthy healing. Fillers such as Sculptra and Juvederm can always add more definition later on if you're still unsatisfied. Best of luck to you. 

David Rosenstein, MD
Boynton Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Too soon to judge

I know that it's frustrating to not see your final results right away, but it takes time for your face to fully heal. At 9 days post op, you are swollen which is definitely going to throw off the shape of your face. For now, be patient and kind to yourself as your body recovers. It can take anywhere from 6 months to a year for your final results.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

9 days out from facelift

Thanks for your question! Without a doubt you have quite a bit of swelling in the tissues of your lower face and neck. This can make you look a bit square-jawed for a time. The folding back of the muscles of your neck can make it look somewhat wider than usual- like you have a linebacker's neck- but this calms down with time. Definitely share your concerns with your doctor, but I don't think this is anything abnormal for only a week and a half out from surgery.

Robert S. Schmidt, MD
College Station Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Swelling after Facelift Surgery

you are EXTREMELY early in the post-operative period after facelift just 9 days out. While Mini Lifts, or Short Scar Lifts may have minimal swelling at this stage, deeper lifts like SMAS lifts with Necklift, or Deep Plane Facelifts, may require up to 3 weeks before your swelling even begins to subside. Don't worry at this point!!  You have a long way to go in the healing process.  If you are concerned, however, it is always a good idea to touch base with your surgeon.  Good luck and congratulations on your lift!

Dara Liotta, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Completely normal

so don't worry at all. All the surgery goes on around the sides of the face and the sides of the neck. As a result all the swelling happens here too. This gives your face a very wide appearance after facelift, especially at about 9 days.

This will all settle down over the next 2-3 weeks and then the pointy chin and the sculpted neck will be the things you like best. I promise. 

Hope that helps. 

Adam Goodwin

Adam Goodwin, MBBS, FRCS(Plast)
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Football Look

It is entirely normal to have swelling this early in your course. Make sure your head is elevated at all times.. Sometimes a wedge pillow that can be purchased at  most home good stores is very useful. You can put your own pillows over it and never have your head flat at night. Altho there are more reasons for swelling a quick check with your surgeon is indicated and can put you at ease. Best wishes!

Kevin F. Ciresi, MD, FACS
Fresno Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Facelift - now I look like a football

Thank you for asking about your face lift.

  • You will certainly be very swollen nine days after a face lift.
  • If you think something is wrong, please contact your surgeon's office
  • Everyone heals differently - in some people swelling subsides quickly, others not.
  • On average, it will take six months at least for most of the swelling to subside.
  • Please let your surgeon know of your concerns but be patient - recovery takes time.

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

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.