9 weeks post face/neck lift bulge on the right. Is this normal? Is it going to resolve? I am very distressed (Photo)

Doctor Answers 6


It appears that the way the skin was sutured in front and behind the ear allowed for some skin to remain under no tension on your cheek, resulting in this bulge.  A consideration may be given to raise the skin flap again and redrape it so this fullness is eliminated.  If it persists you could present this option to your surgeon.  Best wishes, Dr. T. 

Small buldge after facelift

Thank you for the question and the photo. Without feeling the area or seeing the only side, I can only give you an educated guess... but I can think of two possibilities: 1) this is the area of a deep suture and you have a little inflammation or puckering in the area; 2) you have a small fluid collection or deep hematoma. In the first case, massage, warm compresses, and time will take care of it. In the second, a needle aspiration would be performed in the office. Please stay in touch with your surgeon. It is still relatively early in the recovery process. Take care!

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Ridge after facelift

From your photograph, and without seeing the opposite side, there seem to be two possibilities. One, is that the most tension along the skin is sutured to an area just in front of your ear making the area below it slightly more lax. A small fluid collection is also possible and can readily be discerned with an in office ultrasound. Your plastic surgeon, who knows what surgery was done, is your best resource for reassurance that this will dissipate over a few months. Hope this is helpful.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

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Face lift - will the bulges improve

Thank you for asking about your face lift.
  • I understand your distress -
  • But after 9 weeks, you are really still swollen from your surgery.
  • Irregularities are distressing but tend to improve dramatically with time.
  • Give yourself another 4 months to heal.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS


Regardless of the etiology, time is on your side. Many of these contour issues resolve or significantly decrease if you give it enough time. Continue to follow with your doctor and it may take several more months for these issues to subside.

Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS
Ontario Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews


It appears that your facelift procedure was based entirely on skin tightening, rather than that of tightening structures under the skin and allowing the skin to drape nicely over the new structural enhancement.  The "pucker" at the temple is very tight and has caused  "trough" defect that extends down your cheek towards your mouth.  This in turn, has created a "bulge" or ridge in the adjacent area that looks like swelling, but I believe is related to the over pull, not swelling.The good news is that these should resolve in time.  But very, very slowly.  Gentle massage of these areas should help speed the process, but you will have to be very patient. 

R. Scott Yarish, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 31 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.