Black Eyes After Facelift Surgery

I had a facelift on October 27.  It has been 2 months, and I still have black eyes.  My surgeon said that they usually go away after 2 weeks. However, I feel as though I'll have black eyes forever. Instead of feeling good about my facelift, I just see the black eyes. Will they ever go away? Does it just take time?

Doctor Answers 16

Black eyes after Facelift should go away with time

Sometimes, black eyes are due to many factors that can thin your blood or make you bleed more during surgery and afterwards. Genetics, medications, technique of the surgery, etc can all play a part.

When you ooze more during and after your procedure, you will tend to develop more bruising. Two months is rather a long time to resolve this, and it may be due to your circulation and general health. Also, with a facelift, the lymphatics that drain your eyes and the pathways from eyes to your general lymph system and circulation are sometimes impeded due to the area of the facelift. Your eyes drain towards the angle of your jaw, below your ear. This is the exact area that is manipulated during the facelift and can impede the drainage of your black eyes.

Exercise and sometimes massage and warmth can help. Black eyes can also be due to iron deposits from blood where your bruises where located. This is harder to treat but can be the same treatment as with persistent bruising, i.e. exercise etc. Sometimes, people also attribute prominent veins to the appearance of black eyes. If these are veins or blood vessels, time will improve them. Sometimes lasers can help decrease the appearance of these vessels. The only way you can find out is by having someone look closely at it.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

I would follow-up with your doctor

I agree that its been quite a long time since your surgery to still have bruising. It's impossible to give a real answer without pictures before and after. Please follow up with your surgeon.

Black eyes 2 mos after facelift?

It is unusul to have residual brusiing 2 months after a facelift.  Circles around the eyes is not uncommon for some people. They can be due to thin skin.  Sometimes hydroquinone can be helpful. If it is truly bruising and not just dark circles I think you just have to let it subside on its own.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Arnica Montana may help

Hello C,

I would agree that the time it has taken is longer than the usual course for bruising to go away. Also please do continue to follow with your Physician - it is possible you had a more extensive facelift (ie. midface or cheek lift) that would account for bruising by the eyes.

However, everyone is a little different and the eyes are very delicate and can "hold on to" bruising longer than other parts of the body.

You may also consider trying Arnica Montana (pellets or topical gel) to help the bruising resolve quicker. It is best used either before surgery or immediately after, but i have had many Patients report good success even several weeks after a procedure.

Thanks & hang in there it will resolve,

Dr. Jafri

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

No good explanation without seeing a picture

Since a facelift doesn't involve your eyes directly, I can't give you a good answer. Assuming you went to an excellent doctor, I would recommend you stick close to them and they will help you through what sounds like a longer than usual recovery. Cover-up, and various topical treatments and massage can possible assist in a faster resolution.

Black Eyes

Thank you for your question. It is somewhat unusual for patients to have black eyes after 2 months, even with genetics, medications, and all other factors considered. Problems with drainage post-procedure may be to blame, but exercise and massaging (warmth as well) could also be used to help treat these various conditions.

Ramtin Kassir, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Hemosiderin Deposition May Be The Explanation

It’s not unusual for patients to experience bruising following facelift surgery. When more aggressive facelift techniques are utilized this bruising may even involve the eyelids. In most cases bruising resolves in 2-4 weeks following surgery. Unfortunately when discoloration last for longer periods of time, other explanations are more likely.
Under these circumstances, hemosiderin deposition may be a more likely explanation. This problem occurs when patients experience bleeding following face lift procedures. This can result in red blood cells permeating the soft tissue in the involved areas. Over the course of time, these red blood cells and their hemoglobin are broken down and degraded. One of their by products is hemosiderin.
Hemosiderin can stain the soft tissue. Although this staining isn’t permanent it can take years to breakdown, resolve and disappear. Unfortunately there’s no treatment that can accelerate the process.

Prolonged Bruising Following Facelift Surgery

Two month after facelift surgery most of bruising, swelling and numbness should be resolved. Initial hematoma or seroma formation can lead to distortion of lymphatic drainage causing prolonged tissue edema beyond two months period, leading to prolonged discoloration of tissue. Warm compress followed by deep massage, as well as anti-inflammatory medications will help to reduce edema and bruising followed by facelift surgery. Sometimes hydroquinone can be helpful to reduce the darkness of skin. If it is bruising and not just dark circles I think you just have to let it subside on its own.

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Dark circles from eyelid surgery.

Black eyes can be very common after eyelid surgery, and the problem usually has to do with the fact that blood pigmentation( hemosiderin) will oftentimes be deposited in the skin after this type of surgery.  One can either wait long enough and the pigment will usually disappear, but there are also topical products that contain vitamin K stabilizers to minimize the deposition of pigment in the skin.  The topical creams also contain peel products that tend to lighten the discoloration in the skin


Be sure and ask your Plastic Surgeon about this.  Good luck to you.


Frank Rieger M.D.  Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Facelift - Black Eyes After Facelift Surgery

Prolonged "black eyes" after facial surgery, including facelifts, eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty ("nose jobs") can occur, particularly if there was a lot of bruising, thin skin, or a combination.  It usually fades pretty well on its own within a few months so I would expect yours to settle down soon.  You should, of course, follow up with your own plastic surgeon.  Referrals can be made to other providers, including a dermatologist, if indicated for additional treatment modalities.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

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.