Hot Lump After a Face and Necklift

i have just had aace lift and necklift 2 weeks 5 days ago . i have started to swell more at one side of my neck, it is like a lump and the swelling has become hot. i went to doctor he says there is no infection and this is just part of the healing, this was my local doctor i had the surgery abroad. it has not got any bigger though its just the same. although a little uncomfortable, it looks bruised but not black and blue. is this normal . i know swelling can take months to go down was just a little worried as it seemed to be getting worse ater two weeks.

Doctor Answers 11

Hot lump 2 weeks after a foreign facelift

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Obviously this is one of the reasons not to do medical tourism - you don't have follow up with the doctor who operated on you. Aside from an infection, what you might have is a liquified hematoma.  At about where you are postop, a hematoma will turn from jelly like blood into liquid.  As the cells break up, their salts are released and draw fluid to themselves making the area more swollen than when the fluid was in its jelly state.  A needle aspiration of this area would be valuable to see if there is fluid, infection or blood.

Hot Lump after Facelift

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Find a facelift surgeon in your area to rule out a hematoma or an infection which should be treated ASAP. This is one of the possible problems patients can have when surgery is done out of the country.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Risks of Surgery Abroad (Medical Tourism)

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I agree with my colleagues comments.

Although I have not seen any of your BEFORE pictures, it seems to me the incision along the hairline posteriorly is inordinately long and that you may have a small area of tissue compromise or death close to the top.

All your stitches should have been removed a week ago and You should NOT have "hot areas" two weeks after Facelift surgery. As capable as your primary care NHS doctor may think he is, I would recommend you eat some humble pie and see a local Plastic surgeon.

Scotland has a distinguished surgical tradition and I would bet my colleagues there could correct whatever complication you may be having. Please, do not wait.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Healing after a facelift

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Generally speaking, it can take 6 to 12 months to completely heal after surgery. Please keep in touch with your surgeon or his/her clinical team to discuss your ongoing concerns.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Hot Lump After Having a Facelift Abroad

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Your case illustrates perfectly the problem with medical tourism:  you have had your procedure abroad presumably because of the lower cost of surgery, returned home, and now you have a problem.  Unfortunately, the low cost of surgery abroad doesn't include the cost of airfare should you have a complication. As other colleagues have noted, this may represent a liquified hematoma (seroma), infected hematoma, but only an in-person consultation  will be accurate in making the diagnosis.  As Dr. Aldea noted, a long posterior  hairline incision, with no attempt to conceal the scar in hair bearing tissue, is likely to be less than satisfactory in the long run.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Face lift swelling hot and worried in the neck

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At 5 days you are just in the start of the healing process. At this point you likely have around 10% of your healing. We usually tell people that they will have 60% of their healing / recovery complete by 6 weeks, 80-90% by 6 months. 100% can take as long as 2 years. This is based on wound healing studies and tensile breaking strength of a heal wound.

In regards to your neck swelling, there are areas that can be hot.  The signs for infection are swelling, heat, tenderness, drainage,  redness. You should make sure that your doctor is a plastic surgeon familiar with face and neck lifts to be sure.

Thanks for reading

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Neck swelling

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If you are having redness or swelling or drainage from your neck, you should see a plastic surgeon ASAP.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Hot lump after a face and necklift

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Seek immediate plastic surgeon evaluation and monitoring before this can become a serious issue. Possible diagnosis are late hematoma/seroma which CAN become infected, folded SMAS suturing becoming more noticeable as swelling decreases, parotid gland issues, rare issue could be a gauze left in the skin flap (I doubt) but it could be a option. 

Also, I agree with Dr Aldea the placement of the occipital scar seems a bit unusual. 

Best of Luck from MIAMI Dr. B

Hot lump after face and necklift

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Pain, bruising, and swelling are typically experienced two to three weeks after surgery. The symptoms should subside after that in most cases. However, every individual heals differently. It sounds like you may have an infection, considering you said the area is "hot". It would be best to visit your plastic surgeon just to make sure there is not a problem.Since you don't have contact with your plastic surgeon, you should contact a board certified plastic surgeon ASAP.

We believe that each patient needs to be treated as an individual and we focus on listening. Obviously, I would need to examine you and help you to decide which surgical or non-surgical options are available in your particular case.

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

This needs to be watched closely.

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You did not say if your local doctor was a surgeon or whatever.

At two weeks a "hot" area that is new is very likely to be an infection.  In addition, if you were done in a tropical country, it may be a very slow growing infection that needs special techniques to determine what is really going on.

At the very least you need to be seen by a surgical specialist who is used to treating delayed wound infections. The lump can be aspirated with a needle to see if there is any fluid or infection and to get material for culture.  The culture should be kept a minimum of two weeks and if possible an immediate stain including "acid fast" stain should be done if there is any fluid.

I am in Florida and was seeing so many problems from off-shore surgery that we do not now see anyone in consultation with a problem from aboad unless their surgeon calls us first.

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale 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.