Incision Under Chin Not Healing After Necklift?

I had a lower face/necklift 5 weeks ago. There has been a lot of swelling, thickness and lumpiness in the area under my chin and jaw in general which I understand can be normal. However the incision under my chin has not healed. Recently when I massage or put firm pressure under my chin (as instructed), fluid drains from the incision. All other incisions have healed nicely. Should I continue massage? There is no obvious sign of infection.

Doctor Answers 8

Incision Under Chin Not Healing After Necklift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Delayed seroma drainage can occur up to 6-8 weeks after a facelift, and areas where seromas lie can often feel lumpy. While the body may resorb most of this fluid, it can also  be compressed or needled out. The issue that often arises however is a more prolonged recovery process.While massage can help, in our office we deal with these issues using therapuetic ultrasound, similar to what physicial therapists use. In our practice we use the Mettler Sonicator 740 series. Again many physician herapists have devices like this. I usually treat in the 10-15 watt range for 5-7 minutes over the area of concern. I have found significant improvement in healing times doing these treatments routinely after our facelifts.


Besides following up with your surgeon to address your concerns, I sould suggest finding a physical therapist practice to have them do some ultrasound treatments for you. Good luck!

Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon

Incision Under Chin Not Healing After Necklift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Throughout the #facelift #healing process you should be seen frequently by your doctor and one of their registered nurses to ensure you are following instructions properly and your recovery is going well. The healing process in general can take up to one month for the majority of swelling to subside, incisions to close, sutures to come out, and for bruising to completely go away. 

#Recovery time from a #facelift varies from person to person, but patients can generally expect to be presentable within three weeks from surgery. Patients should expect swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the skin during this phase of recovery (swelling normally goes down after 48 hours; most bruising will go away within two weeks). The marks from a facelift can easily hidden with “camouflage” make-up which you can learn how to apply.
The scars from a facelift mature within six to twelve months from the surgery date. It is during this time that the rejuvenating effects of the facelift will become apparent and the real result will be seen.
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

Neck Lift incision

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I would recommend you be seen by the physician who performed your surgery to obtain an evaluation of the non healing wound.  He/she will be best able to evaluate why there has not been appropriate progress with your healing and will be able to make the necessary recommendations to resolve the issue.

Hope this was helpful.

Best Regards,

Jacque P. LeBeau, MD
LeBeau Clinic

Jacque P. LeBeau, MD
Pensacola Facial Plastic Surgeon

Drainage From Chin Incision

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

     Drainage from the chin and a nonhealing wound after 5 weeks after massage suggests seroma and should be evaluated by the plastic surgeon

Neck incision after facelift surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Dear CPAmom,

  • Hopefully it should be resolved by now, what did it end up being?
  • It sounded like a seroma, unless the fluid looked milky and smelled funny

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Lumps & Swelling After Necklift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

While swelling at 5 weeks after a necklift or facelift is common, it appears as if you may have developed a collection of fluid between the underlying muscle and the skin. Most likely, this is a seroma and the incision has not healed. This is allowing the fluid to egress when massaging.  While you can continue manipulating that area, it would be best to have your surgeon examine this drainage to make sure it is not an infection or does not develop into an infection.  Once the fluid does not re-accumulate, your chin incision should heal well.

Carlo P. Honrado, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Incision not healing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You may have a seroma or other type of fluid collection. You need to see your surgeon about this.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

My chin is taking a long time to heal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is true that the area underneath the chin can swell for a long time following a face/necklift. Usually by five weeks the thickness and lumpiness should be resolving however it can occasionally take a bit longer. It is hard to determine exactly what the draining fluid is. It could be a suture granuloma that is causing irritation and drainage. A suture granuloma is a suture that does not dissolve normally for whatever reason and can create a lot of irritation and occasional drainage. Gentle massage is a reasonable treatment strategy but I would follow up with your surgeon to determine if you may need intervention such as a steroid injection, antibiotics, or removal of a retained stitch. 

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial 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.