Swollen and Lumpy 3 Weeks Post-op Facelift/necklift - Is This Normal Healing?

i have just had face lift and necklift 3 weeks 5 days ago .  i am home from surgery abroad and my jawline looks amazing but hae quite a large lump at the side of my right neck.does not eem to be going down any and. have noticed little lumps appearing under chin aswell. is this normal healing process i do know swelling can take months?

Doctor Answers 39

Surgical lumps

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We see this routinely at this stage. Years ago we would inject with steroids and massage. These lumps would go away in 3-6 months. The injections would hurt and massage would loosen skin. Now we do not inject or massage (or very little). They still go away in 3-6 months! Best to do nothing. I would still follow up closely with your plastic surgeon.


Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Lumps after facelift

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Based on the photo, this appears to be routine healing. Feeling some lumps and bumps is quite common due to placement of sutures and redraping of skin, but these settle out as you heal over the next 3months and up to a year. Always be sure to ask your surgeon for guidance and f/u with him/her to discuss these concerns. Good luck!

Bryan Correa, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon

The healing post facelift

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We all tend to heal differently.  At post op three weeks, you are still swollen.  You must give it some time before you see final results.  So, at this point, what you are experiencing may be normal.  Nonetheless keep in touch with your plastic surgeon.  Make sure he is certified, and that he belongs to a prestigious plastic surgery society.

Alberto Arguello, MD
Costa Rica Plastic Surgeon

Swollen and lumpy three weeks after facelift surgery abroad

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  It is likely that this represents routine swelling, and routine lumps and bumps after surgery, all of which will resolve with time.  But no one on this forum can say for certain that you have nothing to worry about without seeing you in person.  Certainly, this is the problem when patients visit other countries for their surgery.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Swelling and lumps after facelift/necklift

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Thank you for your question for sharing your concerns with us. Swelling and lumps in the tissues will return to normal as time passes by. Between the first and second week, much of your swelling and bruising will dissipate. It may take more than a month or two for your tissues to fully soften and any residual swelling to resolve. Lymphatic massage maybe an option to help clear the swelling and firmness at a faster pace.  I would make sure that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon during this period of time, even if it is by Skype, FaceTime, email etc...

Swollen and Lumpy 3 Weeks Post-op Facelift/necklift - Is This Normal Healing

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Thank you for submitting your question and photo. Your very early in your recovery from a face lift.  Without an examination, difficult to answer.  You seem to be healing normally. Everyone heals differently, and swelling resolves faster in some patients.  HAve an examination with a Board Certified Plastic SDurgon and discuss your concerns.   Best wishes

Swollen and Lumpy 3 Weeks Post-op Facelift/Necklift

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When the skin is separated from the underlying tissues during surgery, small sensory #nerves are cut. Varying degrees of numbness will be present after surgery and will improve gradually as the nerves reconnect to the skin. This process can take from 2-6 months for face, neck and cheeks, and to 9-12 months for the forehead and scalp. Muscle weakness may also be present around the mouth especially if liposuction is used. This typically recovers fully in the months after surgery. 

As the nerves regenerate, the itching, burning, tingling and shooting #sensations will occur. Ice, moisturizers and gentle #massaging are helpful during this phase of the #healing process. Frequently there is a tight feeling in the neck, jawline and cheek after a facelift. During surgery, not only the skin but the underlying muscles are tightened to create a better and longer lasting result. Additionally, the #swelling will move downward in the first week and the neck will feel even tighter. Do not be alarmed: the sensation will decrease during the first month. 

Some degree of firmness or lumpiness under the skin is normal after surgery and will resolve with time. Local massage will speed resolution of this problem, which normally takes 2-4 months to disappear completely. 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Lumps Are Normal as Face Heals

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Lumps and swelling are extraordinarily common at this stage of the healing process. Unless your symptoms are accompanied by pain, oozing, or redness, there's likely no cause for alarm. Have patience with your healing process, and if you don't notice your results improving over the course of the next few weeks, contact the surgeon who performed your facelift. You can also feel free to see another doctor in your area.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Swelling and lumpy 3 weeks post op face/necklift

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Thank you for the photos. Still hard to determine exactly what is going on. There seems to be a little swelling and contour irregularity, but within normal limits for this point post op.  Please call your surgeon so he/she can take a look at it, (possibly by e mail).  Together you will come up with a plan.  This plan may include seeing a local board certified plastic surgeon or ENT (otolaryngologist). 

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Swollen and Lumpy 3 Weeks Post-op Facelift/necklift - Is This Normal Healing

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Swelling could be normal but examination would be needed to tell if it was edema vs. a hematoma.  Only a surgeon could tell with accuracy. If it is edema (soft tissue swelling) then observation is needed. However, if it is a hematoma then drainage is indicated and possibly a drain.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 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.