How long can you have tightness and pain after S-lift? I feel it more in my left cheek.

My question is do you think this will settle down. The tightness and pain. You can feel my Lt. cheek bone. Will my jaws relax? How long can this take and what can I do to help.

Doctor Answers 5

Recovery from surgery

Recovery from surgery takes one year.  In 2 weeks you look pretty good.  The tightness and pain gradually go over 10 to 12 weeks.   Be patient.  Wounds take a long time to go the full healing cycle.  All in all it takes one year.  My Best,  Dr C

Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Healing after a facelift

Generally speaking, it can take 6 to 12 months to completely heal after surgery. Please keep in touch with your surgeon or his/her clinical team to discuss your ongoing concerns.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Pain and tightness after face lift

  • usually the pain and tightness after a face lift will improve in 4-6 weeks,
  • it will take 6 months or longer to completely subside,
  • If approved by your surgeon, light massage and warm soaks may help. Best wishes.

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

S-lift and pain

Pain is not a common complaint after a facelift.  Usually tightness is the most common issue. If you have pain you want to be evaluated in person to make sure things are healing OK.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

S-lift tightness and pain.

As you have discovered, healing after a "short-incision" S-lift takes just as long as a "regular" facelift. You didn't say how long it has been since your surgery, so I will tell you what I do each of my patients BEFORE surgery: Full healing, softening, and scar maturation, including sensory nerve regeneration, takes an average of 7 months, as shown by multiple studies. But there is a Gaussian distribution ("bell-shaped" curve) of individuals that will "completely heal" quicker than the median, and those that take longer to reach the same degree of "complete healing." This is why most surgeons tell their patients that it takes 6-12 months for complete healing, settling, and softening of scars to occur (both surface and beneath the surface). This will mean that the vast majority of patients will be completely healed by 1 year, including most of those on the "slow-healing" side of the bell-shaped curve as well as the "quick healers."

So if you are only several weeks to months after surgery, you can be optimistic that time will improve your tightness and discomfort. You describe "pain," which should be present only for the first few days (rarely weeks)  after surgery. If you truly have pain and jaw tightness beyond several weeks after surgery, you should talk to your surgeon again--this is not "normal" after the time period stated.

I'm not sure what you mean by I can "feel my Lt. cheekbone." I can feel mine too, and I've not had a facelift. I'm sure you meant something else, but other than the tightness you already describe, tightness more on one side than the other is also something you should discuss with your surgeon.

Since I don't know how close you are to your surgery, I am reluctant to recommend anything other than you asking your own surgeon. Massage and ultrasonic treatments are options to help scar tissue and swelling diminish, and I start this no sooner than 3-4 weeks after uncomplicated healing in my own facelift patients. Please ask your surgeon. I'm sorry I can't be of further assistance. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 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.