Is there a reason for the swelling and why would it last so long?

I had a full facelift and had severe swelling that lasted for 8 days. Is there a reason for the swelling and why would it last so long. My stitches healed at a normal rate

Doctor Answers 8

Facelift #faceliftrecovery #fatgrafting #beauty #tmbcosmeticsurgery #woundhealing

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Dear FluffarinaThank you for your question!  The selling depends on - medications, bleeding, surgical technique, post op care, supplements and your body's healing process. With Warm RegardsTrevor M Born MD

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Face lift - severe swelling for a week after surgery

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Thank you for asking about your face lift and post-operative swelling.
  • Without a photo, one can't know for sure if your swelling was abnormal -
  • But facial surgery does cause significant swelling - sometimes quite dramatic.
  • If this began to look better after a week and continue to improve - chances are your swellilng was normal for the surgery you had and for your healing.
Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS


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Swelling varies widely from person to person. It is also very subjective, one person may feel that the same amount of swelling is a lot and another not so much. Sometimes one side swells much more than the other. I have even seen where one side swells more one week, and the other swells more the next.In the vast majority of cases, swelling will resolve completely. Follow your doctor's instructions and you will be fine.

all the best

Swelling after Facelift...

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Greeting,It is not uncommon to still have some swelling after a Facelift. Swelling disappears gradually over time, and for many patients will not be totally resolved for 6 to 12 months. Avoiding salt and sleeping with head elevated helps. Massages and external treatments are good options too. Have a great day!

Alicia Sigler, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Post op swelling

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Dear Fluffarina,

Post op swelling is going to vary from patient to patient, but keep in mind, you had surgery and any time the skin is cut, there is swelling. The fact that swelling is subsiding after a week leads me to believe that what you're experiencing is normal. Hope this helps.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews


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The first week after a facelift it is common to have swelling that gradually improves.  Usually a final result is seen at the 2nd to 3rd week.  Eight days of swelling does not seem particularly concerning.  Best wishes, Dr. T. 

Swelling after facelift

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Congratulations on your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.
Swelling is a normal response of the body to injury. Surgery, Albeit being a delicate procedure is a way of injury. normal swelling after facelift should last 3 to 6 months depending on the surgical technique. Finally, make sure that your doctor is aware of your process. He should be able to guide you best in your care.
Wishing you the best in your journey

Post face lift swelling

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Thank you for your question. Swelling is common after any surgical procedure. In the face the swelling can appear exaggerated as the skin around the eyes and mouth can expand very easily making even small amounts of swelling more obvious. The amount of postoperative swelling can vary from one patient to another and can depend on the type of surgical approach (deep plane, SMAS vs skin only).  There can be two types of swelling. Early after surgery more likely related to inflammation and this resolves readily and can be controlled and promoted to resolve with head elevation, ice, and facial garment compression. Later there may be areas of swelling that come and go even within the same day.  This swelling is more likely related to lymphatics and is not as obvious but may take several months to resolve as all the connections in the tissue are remade by your body during the healing process.  Talk with your surgeon about any intervention but in general it will all resolve with time.

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.