Numbness and Lumpiness After Facelift?

Hi, I had a Facelift procedure about 3.5 weeks ago. I am still experiencing numbness on my cheeks, jaw and under chin.

It also feels lumpy under my skin, noticeable especially around the area where the cyst was removed which is right on both side of my mouth. Is it something I should be concerned about? Please advice. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 25

This can be normal but having good follow up is essential

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Lumpiness, swelling, and numbness after a facelift / mini lift / s lift / weekend face lift can be a normal thing. Lumpiness is usually due to a number of factors of which include; fluid collection, inflammation, sutures, and cysts.

Most of the time, the lumpiness will go away with time. At times, your surgeon may consider steroid injections to help the lumpiness. Although, time is a better alternative. Steroids injections can cause their own problems like skin thinning that is hard to predict along with vessel formations and other side effects. Massage is another thing that can help with the lumps.

Heat is something that I would be really cautious of employing. Numbness is a natural process. When you elevate the skin for the facelift, it will interrupt the nerves reaching the skin and this is just part of the process. It takes nerves one day to grow 1mm in the best of conditions.

Many times it will take up to a year for the nerves to fully come back and sometimes the numbness does not fully recover. Your doctor should help you with this and hold your hand so to speak through the whole process.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

The healing process from facelift surgery

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After undergoing a Facelift or any surgery, your body undergoes a process of inflammation and healing.

Although the sutures are usually removed in the first week after surgery, the healing process continues for up to 1 year.

All patients having a Facelift develop numbness in the cheeks since the skin of the face is lifted away from the underlying tissues. As a result, the nerves are no longer communicating with the skin. Fortunately, the nerves usually recover fully and the feeling returns to the face.

Hardness and lumpiness are the result of the body's response to the surgical injury. The healing process involves many changes in the tissue that lead to hardness, lumpiness, bruising, and swelling.

This condition improves rapidly within the first few weeks, and then more slowly over the course of several months.

In order to see the result of a true full Facelift, it takes at least 3-6 months.

Rest assured that the numbness and the lumpiness will abate over time.

I hope you found this information helpful.

Good luck with your recovery.

A. Peter Salas, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Numbness and Lumpiness after Facelift

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Feelings of uneveness and lumpiness under your facial skin are normal signs of swelling and healing. In addition, if you would not have some numbness of the cheeks and neck, I would be concerned that your surgeon did not do an appropriate face and neck lift...

Joking aside, all of the things you are describing are within the expected range of normal 3 1/2 weeks after your facelift. Stay in close touch with your surgeon so that you can discuss any abnormalities or concerns if they should arise.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Facelift Lumps and Bumps Can Be Helped With Massage

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Thank you for your question. It is common to have numbness after a Facelift but it is usually temporary.

Irregularities or lumps and bumps under the skin can also happen after a Facelift. Usually they are caused by small collections of blood under the skin. These small collections will resolve over time and massage will help.

Large or painful swellings should be evaluated immediately by your surgeon. Large collections of blood need to be evacuated quickly.

Early swelling concerns

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After a facelift, it does take some time for the face to heal.  Numbness occurs in almost all facelifts but is temporary.  It is quite uncommon for numbness to persist after a year.  Lumpiness is some of the underlying tissue healing.  This will improve from a week to week basis.  Discuss these concerns with your surgeon.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

Numbness is normal

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Since it has only been three-and-a-half weeks from the facelift surgery, it is perfectly normal to expect numbness around the ears, next to the incisions and underneath the chin as well. This will most likely resolve completely on its own within the first six months after the surgery. There can be some lumpiness associated with the healing process underneath the chin and the neck that will also fade away with time

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Healing after facelift

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It is completely normal to notice some lumpiness and numbness in this time frame after your facelift surgery. Your body heals in a very systematic manner. With more time, these issues will continue to improve. Don't be surprise if the lumpiness becomes more noticeable to you in the months ahead. They will improve markedly after 6 months.

T.Y. Steven Ip, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

Numbness and Lumpiness after Facelift are normal

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Yes, this is normal. Our verbal and written instructions warn patients to expect numbness, lumps and bumps and pink firm incision lines for a good while after a face lift. It subsides quicker in some people than in others, but it is normal and expected. In fact, it would be rare to have a patient who did not experience some degree of these healing conditions.

Phillip Langsdon, MD
Germantown Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

All your symptoms are within normal

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It is normal to have numbness for several months after a facelift. Likewise, you will notice small areas of lumpiness as some residual swelling disappears. Sometimes small collections of blood appear as lumps and they resolve with massage and time. Be sure to point all those areas to your doctor and ask for any advice on speeding up the recovery.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Endermologie Can Help "Lumpiness" after Facelift

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As all surgeons here have mentioned, sensory loss after facelift is not a possibility, It is a probability.  Based on my experience, I usually tell my patients they may begin to get some sensation back as early as a month post-op, but it may take at least 6 months to a year for sensation to be normal....and rarely, it may never be normal. Healing is a doesn't just start and then stop, so be patient and allow your body to heal.

About lumpiness, this too, is not unusual and may be a result of multiple factors, including small amounts of residual body fluids or blood, fatty tissue remnants from the flap dissection, internal sutures, among other causes. It is one thing to feel lumps (which usually go away with time, just like the sensory loss), but we never want to see lumps!  In order to minimize any possibility of lumpiness, I obviously make sure things look good on the OR table. Post-operatively, swelling can prevent the palpation and the visibility of lumps.  To reduce the chance of palpable or visible lumpiness, I perform Endermologie on my facelift patients as early as post-op day increases blood supply to the tissues which enhances healing, it promotes lymphatic drainage which reduces swelling, and it is a "kneading" type of massage technique which helps to dissipate any possible lumpiness. Personally, I think it expedites the entire healing process and gives a better end result. Ask your surgeon if he/she can refer you to someone that performs Endermologie. It may still be of benefit at 3 1/2 weeks post-op. Meanwhile, be patient and allow your body to heal!

Jana K. Rasmussen, MD
West Palm Beach 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.