15 Days Post-op Face/browlift - Harness and Pain in Jaw and Neck? (photo)

15 days post-op face/browlift. Hardness/tightness in lower jaws and neck. Neck is also painful, lumpy, and red. Had lymphatic massage @ 1 wk - so painful I can't go back. Dr. recommends self-massage which is also painful, but I'm doing it. Using Tylenol for discomfort and arnica or mentol for remaining bruises. Should this hurt to touch? Dr. not concerned and wants to see me in 2 weeks. No infrection or fever. Sleeping elevated. Is this normal or should I be concerned? Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 13

Lymphatic massage after facelift doesn't work.

The pictures demonstrate a facelift in the midst of convalescence. The fact that lymphatic massage is painful is illustrative of your body telling you that it should not be done. There is no evidence that lymphatic massage has any benefit in a healing facelift.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Face lift recovery

I am sorry your recovery is difficult. This is what I tell my patients:

  • It is normal to have a stiff, hard neck that hurts to move after a face lift.
  • This will subside in 6 weeks.
  • Wear a light wrap, like as ace wrap at home can help.
  • I don't recommend massage - as you found out, it can hurt.
  • Anti-inflammatories like aspirin and Motrin help more than Tylenol. Ask your doctor if it's ok for you to try them.

Hope this helps!

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

Looking normal for 2 weeks post op facelift

Your symptoms of firmness and swelling 15 days after a facelift is totally normal.  Follow your surgeon's advice.  Continue to massage your neck as instructed.  You need to give it more time for the degree of firmness and hardness to subside.  It generally takes up to 3 months for this to happen.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tightness and hardness 2 weeks post-op face and neck lift

Judy: your symptoms are a normal healing process for your tissues. I would agree with your surgeons recommendations at this time. Generally it is best to treat the symptoms to be comfortable and not OVER DO your activities. Be patient it is still early.



Richard W. Maloney, MD
Naples Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Firmness and Discomfort 15 Days After a Facelift

The photographic evidence and symptoms you describe are entirely normal at this point.  Your body has a natural, genetically programmed response to tissue injury (surgery) and you are experiencing it.  It would be best to gain guidance and reassurance from your own Surgeon.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Tightness and Hardness in Neck at 2 Weeks after Facelift

   Tightness and hardness in the neck after 2 weeks is very normal.  You pictures indicate neither infection nor fluid collection. 

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Facelift recovery

Your concerns are commonly noted by most patients after a facelift.  I sounds like you are doing everything correctly.  It really takes time to resolve. Good communication with you PS is important.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Is this normal for the healing process following a facelift

Hi Judy, from the pictures that you provided, it looks like you are experiencing swelling, bruising, and contour irregularity that are all a natural part of the healing process. I would make sure to be compliant with your surgeon's recommendations and follow up appointments. Time should result in resolution of the swelling and bruising. Good luck!

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Firmness after FaceLift

Judy you photos appear normal and the symptoms you have described are also normal for someone is 15 days post-op from a face and brow lift.

Scott Loessin, MD
Key West Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Firmness and Tightness After Face and Neck Lift

It is absolutely normal for your neck to feel firm that early after your surgery. Pain is not so common but the neck certainly may feel tight as evidence that your face surgeon did what I assume you wanted him to do.

These sensation are temporary and you should appreciate significant improvements over the next 2 weeks.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 49 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.