I had a facelift 4 weeks ago today. Face is still slightly swollen.

I had vertical lines above my lip. So had fat transfer I want to no how long does the swelling take to go down

Doctor Answers 19

Slight Swelling May Persist for a Few More Months

Thank you for your question, dd69. Most patient literature on facelift surgery says that swelling will be largely resolved after 4 weeks, but this is merely a guideline. Every patient heals differently. Your own physiology, as well as the techniques your doctor used during surgery, can influence how long the healing process takes. Fat grafting on itself will be associated with some swelling; we often overgraft, i.e. overcorrect, as some of the fat will not survive. Full results after fat grafting are only seen after 3 months. Because you are only slightly swollen, that sounds to me like a very good sign that you're healing well. It may take a few more months for the last bit of swelling to completely go away. Please contact your surgeon if you have any urgent concerns. Good luck!

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Every Patient Is Different, May Take Months

Swelling decreases at varying rates in different patients. Usually, 80% of it is gone in 2 to 3 weeks. 95% is gone in 6 to 8 weeks. The rest can take months to finally subside. Most people are fine to get back into their regular routines by 2 to 3 weeks. It is not unusual for you to still have swelling at one month after the procedure. It will subside in time.

Louis C. Cutolo, Jr., MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Swelling after facelift

A good rule of thumb is that about 80-90% of the swelling will resolve in the first 4-6 weeks and the additional 10-20% can take a few months more. So be patient - especially since you are early on in your recovery. One other thing that is helpful with postop swelling is Arnica which is obtainable at any health food store. Follow the directions on the bottle. Also never fail to keep your surgeon in the loop and express your concerns to him or her. Good luck with your continued recovery and I hope you are enjoying your result

Russell Sassani, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Swelling Post Facelift

The degree of swelling varies from patient to patient. Swelling of the face is totally normal. All swelling takes time to subside, especially with a lower facelift, but you will see steady progress over the course of days, weeks, and months. Contact your surgeon’s office with any concerns or questions regarding your post-op swelling.


Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Slightly Swollen Face After Facelift 4 Weeks Ago

Hello, thank you for your question.

The advice you have been given is excellent, thus far. I also do not take post-op photographs until the 3 month mark, once the swelling has completely gone down.  It is important to note that patients can vary in their bruising and swelling, although there is general consensus how long you will swell.  Give it some more time, I am excited for your results!  Please post them for us to see!


Kristin Tarbet, MD, FACS

Kristin J. Tarbet MD, FACS
Bellevue Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


It sounds as if your healing appropriately. Most swelling is gone at this time, however there is usually some swelling at this point.

Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS
Ontario Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Swollen lips

I dont take final photos for 3 months because most patients are doing very well at that point. But the length of time for swelling to go dowon, epecially in sensitve areas like lips, can vary greatly between patients. I would try to be patient and give it time. You should do great

all the best!

Michael E. Kelly, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


Swelling after a facelift and fat grafting typically lasts 3-4 weeks.  There can be some residual minor swelling that can persist a bit longer, but you should be pretty happy at this point with your appearance. 

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

I had a facelift 4 weeks ago today. Face is still slightly swollen.

Hello dd69,

When it comes to a facelift, or any surgery, as a rule of thumb 80% of your swelling is gone in 2 weeks, 90% in two months, and it can take up to a full year for that last 10% to go away.   Of course, by 1 month most of your swelling is gone.  But that goes along with you saying your face is only slightly swollen.  It sounds like you are healing on schedule.  If you have any concerns, I'd recommend you follow up with your surgeon.  

I hope this helps and good luck.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Face lift - still swollen at 4 weeks.

Thank you for asking about your facelift.

  • Face lifts, like all surgery, start a biological healing process that takes at least six months to subside.
  • In some people, it can take a full 18 months to come to an end.
  • As for the fat transfer, it takes the same -
  • You should see improvement in the swelling at 6 weeks and a final result at 6 months.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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