Lower Transjunctival Blepharoplasty and Fat Transfer - How Long Will my Cheeks Be Hard and Swollen?

Each day i am liking the results more and more except when i see my side profile and look like a chipmunk. I know i'm only 7 days out and i don't have much bruising, but i can feel hardness in my cheeks and i was wondering if that hardness is swelling? And how long does it usually last? The doctor said 7-10 days before i return to work, but i am wondering if by next week i will notice a decrease in my cheeks? i thought subtle mean 'not obvious'? Am i just being paranoid?

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling after fat transfer and lower lid surgery

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You may definitely have firmness and significant swelling 1-2 weeks after a lower lid blepharoplasty and fat transfer.  The firmness is probably the fat and it should soften with time.

Swelling after blepharoplasty and fat injections

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Swelling after a lower lid blepharoplasty and fat injections is completely normal and expected.  At 7 days, most patients will still have at least some degree of swelling.  Keep your follow-ups with your doctor, and try to keep your head slightly elevated, avoid strenuous activity, and it should steadily improve.  It can take several weeks for the majority of the swelling to subside.

Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty and Fat Grafting Recovery

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Dear Eyelid and Fat Grafting Patient from New Jersey,
According to what you describing, you are experiencing a normal post operative fat grafting to the cheek, and lower transconjunctival blepharoplasty. Since you did not experience any bruising, I doubt that there is any excess blood clot causing the hardness in your cheeks. The swelling is most likely due to swelling associated with fat grafting. Talk to your doctor he knows your situation better. Good luck and good healing

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Swelling after fat transfer and blepharoplasty

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You certainly may have swelling and some firmness for several weeks and will not likely have your final result for 6 weeks.  The majority of the swelling should resolve in the forst 2-3 weeks but some will linger for a few more weeks.  The cheeks should not be hard, just mildly firm and also not painful.  If the swelling is really hard and tender to the touch you should see your surgeon right away.  If not, just be patient and expect good results to come soon!

Carey Nease, MD
Chattanooga Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Cheeks Hard and Swollen One Week After Trans-conjunctival Blepharoplasty and Fat Transfer

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Hi NewMe,

It takes some time after Trans-conjunctival blepharoplasty and fat transfer for your swelling to go down.  It may take up to 2 to 3 months before things settle down completely, but you should see continued gradual improvement.  As for "are you being paranoid?", did your surgeon implant any computer chips during your surgery, are you hearing voices or being followed?  Just kiddin'.  You should heal well, and hopefully quickly.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Blepharoplasty: Fat Transfer

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For a lower lid transconjunctival blepharoplasty there should not be swelling in the cheeks as the operation is performed behind the orbital septum. However, if the fat transfer that you mention represents fat transferred from the eye to the cheek region - then you will have swelling for several weeks. This is normal. Some people also fat transfer to their cheeks after liposuction (fat from other parts of the body). In either case the hardness that you feel is normal post-operative swelling that decreases considerably over the first few weeks. This is also combined with the volume increase to your cheeks from the fat transferred to the region. Please keep your surgeon aware of your concerns as she will appreciate the feedback.

James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

Recovery after lower lid blepharoplasty

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Hi NewMeNJ,

Typically the cheeks are not too firm after lower lid blepharoplasty, but occassionally, this can occur.  I wonder if there has been a collection of blood (hematoma) that has accumulated in the region.  If so, this will likely take 2-3 weeks to go away.  However, this would be quite unusual and is unlikely. 

The more likely scenario is that you just have some residual edema that is taking some time to go away.  You are right that 7 days is a short amount of time to expect the swelling to have resolved; however, you should start to see a dramatic decrease in swelling in the next few days.  You should be evaluated by your surgeon to see if there is anything that can help with the swelling, such as a steroid (either an oral tablet or an injection).

Good Luck!

P. Daniel Ward, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 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.