Swelling After Blepharoplasty, Cheek Implants, and Facelift

On March 3, 2009 I had blepharoplasty done with CO2 laser under the eyes, cheek implants, and face lift done. It's all healing well except for the swelling. My lips are also huge, and for the most part, numb. What can I do about these? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 12

A lot of surgery at one time

My feeling about performing a large amount of surgery at one time is first, do no harm. The swelling and bruising from one procedure can't interfere with any other procedure. And most importantly, cosmetic surgery (elective and not needed for health purposes) should never take longer than 4 hours.

After 4 hours, the patients risks go up significantly and thats a no-no. Many people try to perform many procedures at once, so as to maximize outcome while minimizing downtime. But there have to be limits. As far as your concerns, the numbness can be the result of swelling of the upper lip, from injury or swelling of the nerves to the upper lip during cheek implant placenment or from the facelift.

In any case, there is nothing for you to do, except wait and allow the swelling and healing process to take it's course. Good Luck!

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Degree of swelling is expected

The procedures that the patient has had done are extensive and will necessitate extended swelling and edema in the face for quite some time. The cheek implants take the longest to heal, upwards of two months, as they are placed on the bone and have to grow into and around the bone itself. Soft tissues tend to stay very swollen over this area for the longest period of time. Socially, one should be able to get back to normal routine in two to three weeks after this surgery. It will take three to four months for all of the incisions on the facelift to finally settle down and heal into a fine white line if they have been made properly.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Time will heal

I'm sorry your plastic surgeon didn't explain how much swelling you would have after surgery. But it sounds like the postoperative course you're having is right on line with the extensive surgery that you had done.

So relax and realize that the swelling and numbness will resolve. Everyone is different and the postoperative course may last longer than others. I'm sure your result will be worth it in the long run.

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

You may have a nerve problem.

Hi. The only part of your story that worries me is that you have numbness of your lips almost 10 days after surgery. The infraorbital nerves provide sensation to the upper lip, and cheek implants are normally placed very close to the infraorbital nerves.

I have seen cases where the implants perhaps moved and were pressing against the nerves. So I would see your surgeon right away. He knows exactly what the possibilities are.

The nerves could just be bruised, in which case feeling should return soon.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Keep in touch with your surgeon

You are so soon after extensive surgery that what you describe sounds quite normal and your primary source of advice should be your own surgeon. The lip numbness can be the result of the dissection for the cheek implants. Usually this is temporary and takes a few weeks to resolve. Alot of the swelling produced from the upper face and eye surgery will settle in the upper lip which easily swells. Be patient and stay in contact with your surgeon.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Swelling after multiple facial procedures

This is very normal considering the multiple layers of surgery that were addressed during your procedure.

Use elevation, gentle compresssion, and anti-inflammatories (when permitted by your surgeon). Consider arnica montana cream and pills. Also, consider the use of manual lymphatic drainage, if approved by your surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Swelling is normal still

After the extensive procedures you had, swelling at 10 days postop is normal. Keep your head above your heart, keep your activity levels down with a normal heart rate and blood pressure, minimize salt intake, perhaps use cool compresses and manual lymphatic drainage and try to remain calm. You will feel better in a week.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

10 days post op

Ten days after such extensive surgery you will still have significant swelling and possibly residual sensory changes. Stay in touch with your surgeon, who will keep you informed about your progress. Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Swelling and numbness are common after facial surgery

Swelling and numbness is present in almost all facial surgery so be patient. Swelling in lips is due to the incisions in your uppper gum to place the cheek implants. All this is temporary.

Richard D. Gentile, MD
Youngstown Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

You had a lot of surgery and swelling is normal

You had a lot of surgery and you are recently post op. It is very normal for you to still have swelling. However, if you are concerned at all, you need to follow closely with your doctor. If you post pictures, we may be able to give you more specific advice. Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.