How Long Does Swelling Last After a Deep Plane Lift?

Many people have had extensive swelling and lumps from a deep plane lift. Does smoking have anything to do with this slow process. From roping in the neck to hematomas to lumps appearing a month later. There seems to be huge concerns about this and wanting instant 3 week results. Does it not take 6-12months for the final healing? Are these lumps and bumps just swelling?

Doctor Answers 9


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If done by experienced surgeons deep plane facelifts can heal very fast. Smoking is probably the worse thing you could do for a facelift its almost a guarantee you will have a problem after surgery

Deep Plane Facelift Recovery

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The deep plane facelift is a type of facelift that addresses the midface and cheek area as well as the jowls and lower face.  This technique is carried out at a deeper level of the face and often has less swelling and bruising associated with the surgery and recovery.  You are correct that smoking can impair your healing.  Smoking constricts the blood vessels leading to decreased blood flow and decreased nutrient delivery to the healing facial tissues.


Jill Hessler, MD
Palo Alto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

How Long is Healing after Deep Plane Facelift?

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   Healing after deep plane facelift can take 6 to 12 months, and smoking will definitely impair the process.

Deep Plane Lift Recovery

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In general, the recovery from a deep plane lift is longer than with other type of facelifts.  I have much more experience with extended SMAS lifts, which can provide impressive results yet have a shorter typical recovery time.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Deep Plane Facelift Healing

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Every facelift has different nuances in regards to healing.  The deep plane facelift varies tremendously based on the technical nuances of the lift.  I prefer the CPMS variant of deep plane facelift where most of my patients are presentable a little over a week and can be ready for social events fairly quickly.  Every surgeon has specific nuances which may or may not work for them.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Facelift recovery

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Dear 60lovingit,

  • Typical facelift swelling lasts about 2-3 weeks
  • Roping occurred with some specific sutures (threadlift) and shouldn't be a concern because they are not widely used
  • Hematomas occur 1-5% of the time, usually not a big deal if treated appropriately
  • Smoking slows healing, not a good idea before a facelift

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

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

Smokers and Facelifts

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Any type of surgery will be hindered by smoking, especially facelift surgery when we are dealing with microcirculation. Lumps and bumps are frequent after deep plane facelifts or any facelifts for that matter. Gentle massage as well as ultrasonic therapy may hasten then recovery. Time and patience are the key. Most swelling generally dissipates within the first month, but may take up to 6 months for the final result.  Hope this helps!

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Smoking and Deep Plane Face Lifts

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Swelling takes longer to subside after deep plane facelifts, and smoking never helps anything!  If you have lumps or bumps, it's probably wise to check in with your surgeon to determine if the bumps are fluid or blood collections - that can be treated,  or other irregularities that will likely subside with time.  Most results are seen in the timeframe you're looking at - 3 weeks, but it truly takes six months for all the swelling to subside.  Hope this helps!

Dr. Kaufman

Rhytidectomy, deep plane facelift

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Smoking certainly does delay healing in any kind of surgery, and especially surgery that involves the delicate microcirculation of the facial skin.  It's hard to generalize all contour irregularities that can occur during the post-operative period as "lumps and bumps", but as you alluded to, most people will not be black-tie function ready after 3 weeks.  Not all deep-plane facelifts are created equal, so it also makes it difficult to generalize, but typically the majority of healing will not be achieved before 2 months.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 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.