Massage After Face Lift? (photo)

I am at day 17 after chin and lower face lift. I had a great deal of swelling/brusing the first week. I have a large scab at the incision site on my right ear and chin. I have seen my PS each week post op and he says not to worry, that everyone heals different. I am using an antibiotic on the scab areas.The cheek swelling has gone down but the area by my ears and along my chin is hard and still bruised. I hear massage helps. Can you advise on just how to do this and how much to do it.

Doctor Answers 11

Scabs After Facelift

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The scabs seen after your facelift most likely represent skin necrosis.  Bare in mind, scabs can also represent infection and other possibilities as well.  This needs to be followed closely with local wound care.  Typically covered wounds heal better than uncovered wounds.  The scab is acting as a biologic wound dressing to this area.  The area will continue to heal and contract and may heal without a scar depending on the depth of the skin slough.  It may require additional procedures to improve as well at a future date.

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

Healing after face lift surgery

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Based on your photos, you have 2 areas of skin slough, or epidermolysis;  it happens occasionally after face lift surgery, more commonly in smokers. This usually heal well - just continue to follow up with your surgeon for postoperative care.  I usually advise the use of topical antibiotics until scabs slough off and to avoid sun exposure during healing phase to prevent hyperpigmentation. Would not recommend massage though.

Alexander Ovchinsky, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Massage after facelift surgery

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Based on your pictures it appears that you have some healing issues by your right ear and also under your chin.  While everyone heals differently, it will take longer for you to heal these areas as you can tell from the prolonged "scabbing."  The advice that others have given you is correct that you should follow your surgeon's instructions carefully.  Also, avoid temptation to pick the scabs for pressure your surgeon to excise them.  Let the skin heal from below.


Good Luck.

Massage after facial surgery

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You appear to have some healing issues after your surgery.  Only your surgeon should guide you in your post operative care.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Massage After Face Lift

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Some degree of firmness or #lumpiness under the skin is normal after #surgery and will resolve with time. Local #massage to those areas will speed resolution of this problem, which normally takes 2-4 months to disappear completely.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Massage After Face Lift?

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Sorry for your postoperative complications of small hematoma and skin edge necrosis. I recommend aggressive lymphatic massage and external ultrasound to MY patients. This is not self administered. Bestv to ask your surgeon! 

Massage after facelift

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You should follow your surgeon's regimen. I would not encourage massage while a patient is still scabbed and bruised. Unfortunately, some patients bruise more than others and things need to settle down.

Facelift Aftercare

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I have listed the general instructions that I give my facelift patients below both in written form and video format. Most important is to listen to your plastic surgeon's advice. Only he/she knows the extent of the surgery performed and how well you are responding to the healing process which cannot  be accessed simply by a photo.

Massage after facelift

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After the face lifting operation the recovery period depends on your physical status, age, general health and condition mainly. The operation itself does not take too long therefore you receive a mild anesthesia. Since the anesthesia that you receive is mild; you will not have problems associated with anesthetic agents after the operation. This is especially important and can be achieved with only a team of plastic surgeons like we have. After the operation you will have stiches and bandages which will be removed after the 10th day. You can start to do your daily activities just after the operations but we do not advise you heavy lifting, running or activities that require excess physical activity. The more you rest, the faster your recovery will be.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Massage after facelift

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Regarding your pictures; it appears there is a small amount of blood under the skin, which is not unusual. It is too early to massage and could be detrimental. I would keep your scab next ot your ear dry and no antibiotic ointment.

It will take a while to see your final result and time with patience is your friend, however difficult that might be. Drink plenty of water and eat very healthy with minimal salt. Keep your head elevated.

You will be happy in the end, but a lot of changes will be coming. Be patient.

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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.