So tight after facelift. Is this normal?

Is it normal after a facelift to have such severe tightness and hardness of the face that one cannot eat, smile, open the mouth, bite or kiss?

Doctor Answers 16

Severe Tightness after Facelift

It is normal to experience some tightness after facelift, usually in the neck.   What you are describing is more unusual, however, and warrants a return visit to your doctor.  Without the benefit of photographs and knowing the specifics of your procedure one can only speculate. It is possible that you are just more self aware or "tuned-in" to your senses than the average person. This can lead to anxiety and a heightened sense of concern. Visit your surgeon for an examination. See if they recommend range of motion exercises, massage or injections to diminish your symptoms. Good luck.

Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Severe tightness following facelift

It is normal to have some tightness following a facelift, but what you are describing sounds severe. I always think it best to err on the side of caution so I would suggest that you see your surgeon to have the situation assessed in person.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tightness after Facelift

It is normal to experience tightness and stiffness after a face lift procedure. However, your case seems to be a little bit excessive. If your movement is impeded to such a degree where you cannot perform simple tasks like eating, I recommend going back to your facial plastic surgeon. Without any pictures, it is difficult to analyze your case. I suggest scheduling a visit to your facial plastic surgeon. He/she who performed the procedure will be able to provide the best advice for you.

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Severe tightness after facelift

Thank you for your question.  It is normal to feel tightness after a facelift, in fact you want to feel tightness as it an indication that your procedure was done well and you will have a nice result.  However, what you seem to be describing is a bit extreme.  It would be best to follow up with your surgeon, he may recommend some massage for you to do in order to give you some relief.  It is also possible that you are very sensitive and there is nothing that  needs to be done.  Either way it would be best to follow up with your surgeon and get an exam. 
Best of luck,
Dr. Hisham Seify

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

So tight after surgery

Thank you for your question.  It is important to consult with your Facial Plastic Surgeon to discuss your concerns so that the appropriate treatment can be prescribed. 

Michael Sullivan, MD
Columbus Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

So tight after facelift. Is this normal?

Tightness of the neck after face and neck lift his often an indication of a good procedure which will yield a good result.  However what you're describing is abnormal and I suggest that she meet with your plastic surgeon to see if possibly medication or massage will help..

So tight after facelift. Is this normal?

Its important to know how far out from surgery you are.   I would discuss your concerns with your PS to make sure everything is healing well.  I am confident you will heal quite well when it is all said and done since it is more than likely from swelling. 

Christian A. Prada, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 260 reviews


What you are describing is not normal.  You may be experiencing anxiety as you recover from surgery.  This could cause your jaw to clench causing the problems you described.  Contact your surgeon for an exam.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Severe tightness after facelift

Severe tightness after faceliftHello Crystaleannestone Experiencing such tightness as you describe to the point where you cannot open your mouth, eat, kiss etc. is highly unusual after a facelift. You should return to your surgeon  immediately to evaluate such symptomatology. However, as one of the other plastic surgeons noted, you may be experiencing anxiety and tightness to such a degree you subjectively sense you cannot perform those vital facial functions but objectively you can.  One must exclude also a hematoma or facial nerve paralysis. However, based on your description, these scenarios seem highly unlikely as well. Good luck

Randal Haworth, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 53 reviews


It is not normal to feel that tight after most types of skin and SMAS facelifts.  A subperiosteal lift may cause such tightness but these are not as common these days.  You should discuss these symtpoms with your surgeon ASAP.  Best wishes, Dr. T.

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 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.