Does this look like necrosis? And what treatment will prevent it worsening? (Photo)

I'm 13 days post op from face/neck lift, and have started to develop areas of what I think is necrosis. Had a lot of swelling immediately post-op, and surgeon stated a lot of bleeding during procedure. Don't smoke I'm concerned more areas will start to break down - left side of face is now looking a little grey Surgeon stated it may just take longer to heal

Doctor Answers 11

Healing After Facelift

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 Small scabs may heal without leaving noticable scars. Follow up with your surgeon to ensure proper healing. Good Luck!

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

Skin Necrosis After Facelift

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Judging from your photos, it appears that you do have some distinct areas of skin slough (necrosis), primarily on the left. Most likely, this will not get worse but improve under close supervision and appropriate management by your surgeon.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Skin Loss After Facelift Surgery

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Thank you for your pictures.  It does look like you have some small areas of superficial skin loss.  Topical antibiotics (Silvadine cream) can be helpful but the areas just have to heal naturally. Revision may or may not be advisable.

Dr. ES

You look like you have some necrosis on the left side after the facelift.

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It is a small area, and looks fairly superficial so should heal well.  Keep it moist with Vaseline so you don't get contraction of the area.  If you get some scarring - which should be minimal anyway - you can do some laser at about 6-8 weeks to eliminate the scar.  The right side looks more like some residual scabbing. And the darker color is probably deep bruising.  

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

The Areas Of Necrosis Will Take Longer To Heal But Should Ultimately Look Good

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The grey areas on the right look more like bruising than necrosis. The areas on the left do look like superficial necrosis. Despite being a nuisance (it may take a while for them to look good), they should heal well with a very small area of scar when it is all done. Other than the longer healing time, it is unlikely that this will be an issue for you. Good luck.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Does this look like necrosis? And what treatment will prevent it worsening?

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I agree with the previous posts.  You may want to consider hyperbaric oxygen therapy, discuss this option with your surgeon.

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

The skin is suffering but probably will require after facelift.

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The skin is definitely suffering after the facelift but it looks from the photograph like it will recover. There may be some intradermal scarring is a consequence.


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It appears there may be some superficial loss of skin particularly on your left side.  Early intervention with local wound care will likely result in very good healing and an unperceivable scar.  Talk to your surgeon about the best local care and have him guide you.  Fortunately this should heal very well.  

J. Kevin Duplechain, MD, FACS
Lafayette Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Wound healing issues after facelift

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Regarding your pictures, the discoloration is due to some blood beneath the skin. The wounds are non-healing areas that may struggle for a while. Treat them with gentle care, and I believe they are better off dry rather than softened with ointment at this point. The wounds may get a bit worse before they  get better.

It's important to trust your surgeon and trust the process. A small disapointment now will be rewarded with an eventual good result.

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Superficial skin necrosis after facelift

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On your left side there are some what appeared to be superficial areas of skin necrosis.  However I expect that these will heal uneventfully and it most could leave some light skin color in the areas involved.  A hematoma does increase your risk of skin necrosis following facelift.

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.