11 days post facelift/co2 laser. Left side neck swelling normal or seroma? Should I give it more time or be concerned? (Photos)

Swelling and brusining with some resolution, but my neck and jaw line are very swollen. The swelling was equal on both sides for the first few days, but behind my left ear, going down and around my neck, the swelling feels like a hot dog under the skin. It appears firmer and darker today and more painful I have a real concern about the normalcy of this but don't want to appear over reactive to my surgeon. He is a great surgeon, but hundreds of miles away. Need immediate attention?

Doctor Answers 9

Post Operative Swelling, Facelift

Thank you for your photographs. While it is not possible to determine exactly what is happening based on your photographs alone, there does appear to be a collection of fluid or blood at this site. It is of the upmost importance you have this evaluated immediately as to prevent any delayed healing or blistering of the skin. Good Luck! 

Portsmouth Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews


It is hard to tell from the photos, but you need to be seen in person to make sure you do not have a hematoma. Good luck.

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

Post op swelling/bruising a concern

Based on your photo and the fact that you describe you swelling/bruising as getting worse, not better, I am concerned. I would definitely advise that you see your surgeon ASAP to determine whether or not this is a hematoma. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews


You may have a hematoma or a seroma.  It would likely be beneficial to drain this area so it resolves quicker, but for this you should see a plastic surgeon near you.  

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Neck swelling following a facelift

I advise seeing your plastic surgeon immediately.  This has the appearance of an infected hematoma and needs immediate attention.  Treatment might be drainage with culture of the fluid, antibiotics.  If not infected then a simple aspiration may be sufficient.

Richard O. Gregory, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Concerns for Hematoma or Seroma

if you have concerns of a colllection after facelift surgery you should contact your surgeon right away.  They are the one that did the procedure and should evaluate it. 11 days after surgery is a very unlikely time to get a hematoma. A seroma may be possible but needs to be evaluated in person by your doctor. 

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

11 days post facelift/co2 laser. Left side neck swelling normal or seroma? Should I give it more time or be concerned?

Thank you for your photo.  Based on your photo I would be concerned that you have a hematoma or blood beneath the face and neck lift flap.  In my opinion this requires immediate attention and you should contact your plastic surgeon or see someone locally.

Speak with your surgeon

You should touch base with your doctor.You could have a small collection of blood under the skin which may need to be drained. If you are hundreds of miles away you might want to see a local doctor that your surgeon recommends. The local surgeon may see you as a courtesy and charge a small fee. At least you would have some peace of mind and reassurance without having to drive such a long distance.

Joseph M. Perlman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Healing and Recovery After Your Facial Procedure

First and foremost, its best to remain patient. It is still early in to your recovery. The healing process in general can take up to one month for the majority of swelling to subside, incisions to close, sutures to come out, and for bruising to completely go away. 

#Recovery time from a #facelift varies from person to person, but patients can generally expect to be presentable within three weeks from surgery. Patients should expect swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the skin during this phase of recovery (swelling normally goes down after 48 hours; most bruising will go away within two weeks). The marks from a facelift can easily hidden with “camouflage” make-up which you can learn how to apply.
The scars from a facelift mature within six to twelve months from the surgery date. It is during this time that the rejuvenating effects of the facelift will become apparent and the real result will be seen. If you have certain concerns about the procedures and #healing process, it is recommended to call your board-certified surgeon or their medical staff and discuss those #concerns.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 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.