What Can I Do to Help Repair my Salivary Gland Excretions After Mini Facelift?

After my facelift 8 had excess swelling after eating. My doctor removed the excess and said that my gland must have been affected. I am now on medication but is this a fix? How long will it last.

Doctor Answers 12

Parotid injury after facelift

Parotid gland issues are very rare after facelift surgery, but they do happen and most experienced facelift surgeons have experience in managing this issue. The methods to manage are extrapolated from other, non-cosmetic surgeries that purposefully involve the parotid. 

First and foremost, this is almost always temporary. Conservative management, as outlined below, is your best option while it resolves. Occasionally when the parotid duct is injured, it needs to be repaired, but this is usually a process of elimination, and it can be looked at with a radiology study. 

Conservative treatment includes means to stop saliva production:
Botox into the gland
Scopolamine patches
Eating a bland diet and avoiding sour, acidic or spicy foods

In addition, any fluid accumulation needs to be drained regularly. A temporary drain and compression may be useful. 

To ensure you are receiving the highest level of care, seek out a modernly trained, new-school dermatologic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who is board certified and fellowship trained in one of these "core four" cosmetic specialties. Membership in organizations like the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery help to identify a highly trained surgeon.

Cameron Chesnut #realself500 Physician

Spokane Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Cosmetic Surgery is an Art and a Science

Your problem may be related to a salivary gland that takes time to resolve.You may discuss treatment options with your surgeon in the unlikely event this does not improve.Give it some time.

Thomas A. Narsete, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Salivary Fistula After Facelift

A salivary fistula after facelift can be treated with a number of methods depending on how quickly it resolves.  Many times repeat drainage of the collection and pressure dressings can get a small leak to resolve quickly.  Antisialagogues are effective in conjunction with this treatment to lessen the production of saliva.  Botox has also been shown effective in the treatment of salivary fistula, and usually will require repeat injections.  I suggest you follow up with your surgeon regularly to have your recovery closely monitored.  Good Luck  

Anthony Corrado, DO
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Saliva collection after mini-face lift

I am sorry you have this problem after your mini Facelift. Most likely a suture has allowed saliva to leak from the parotid (main salivary gland) into the cheek. If the saliva flow stops, you should heal. These help: 

  1. scopalamine patches and Botox injections dry up secretions, 
  2. pressure bandages and repeated removal of fluid avoid further irritation.

If fluid is decreasing, you should heal. It may take a few months.

If not, a sialogram (study of main parotid duct) is done to check if repair surgery is needed. Hope this helps!

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Salivary fistula, excessive swelling, mini facelift

There is peer reviewed literature documenting the dimishing production of saliva from the parotid gland after treatment with Botox.

Two to three injection sessions will usually correct this issue.

This has been my personal experience as well.

Please consult in person with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon prior to making any treatment decisions.

Luis A. Cenedese, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Salivary Fistula

Hi Legal Eagel 1954

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing excess swelling after eating.  There are new treatment involving neuromodulators such as Botox and Dysport injections into the parotid gland that can help reduce hypersalivation or excessive spit production. Of course, you would need an in-person evaluation by a physician to determine the nature of the swelling after eating and whether a neuromodulator injection is right for you.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

What Can I Do to Help Repair my Salivary Gland Excretions After Mini Facelift?

 There are two possible explanations for a swollen Salivary gland after a Face Lift.

  1. The salivary gland remains intact but the salivary duct is temporarily blocked as a result of dehydration and lack of fluids related to surgery and the immediate post-op recovery.  This is often bi-lateral and IMHO occurs very rarely.  I have never seen one of these in my 25 plus years of performing Face Lifts.
  2. The Salivary gland and or duct was cut during the Face Lift and saliva extrudes into the facial tissues causing an abcess or salivary fistula (leaking saliva out of the skin or into the mouth).  Intermittent drainage of the saliva with a needle and syringe with compression of the area can often resolve the issue.  An examination of the salivary glands and ducts can be performed by an ENT surgeon to determine the issue and prescribed treatment.  Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Salivary Fistula After Minilift

Parotid fistulas are very rare after Facelift.  After initial drainage, the parotid gland can be effectively treated with Botox to reduce salivary flow.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Salivary fistula

Salivary fistula is not very common but can happen after facelifts.

Treatment is drinage, including inserting a drain, and usualy resolves without any surgical intervention.In case of the rare occaision of injury to the salivary duct, it can heal by conservative measures, rarely may need surgical repair.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

How to correct saliva collecting under the skin after a facelift

There are many options for helping with this unfortunate occurrence:

1. Drain the saliva and use a pressure dressing. This is the most common and effective way of treating this problem.

2. Oral medications that reduce saliva secretions. This can be used in combination with the above. Can have some side effects though.

3. Botox injections have become an increasingly effective and popular way to treat this condition. Works quite well and easy to do. Best done after the saliva has been removed and drainage has slowed down.

4. Surgery to place Alloderm (cadaver skin) between the salivary gland and the skin. Reserved for extreme cases.

All the best to you and rest assured you should do well,

Dr. J

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.