Lower Facelift, cheek implants, and neck lift- need help with pain management and tightness.

I had a lower facelift (with fat implanted into cheeks) and neck lift 4 days ago. I've been very distressed with the pain and my inability to be able to sleep (difficult to do sitting upright). I have only been prescribed paracetemol and ibuprofen for pain relief. Also, my skin is really really tight and is puckering around the stiches at the top of my earlobes. Can you give me any other advice to (a) help with pain and (b) help with the tightness? I live in the UK. Thanks

Doctor Answers 5

Postoperative pain should be discussed with your surgeon.

Patients respond differently to pain. There might be a clinical problem that needs examination. In any event you should visit your surgeon and report the problem and work through it with him.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Discomfort after Facelift

Time will help with the tightness of your skin especially as the swelling decreases.  Sleeping with your head elevated will also help with decreasing the swelling and therefore the tightness.  You will have to ask your surgeon about alternatives to the current medications you are taking.

Earl Stephenson, Jr, MD, DDS, FACS

Pain and swelling after face lift

Thank you for your question about your face lift healing.

First you should call your surgeon and discuss your pain and what you need. It is not uncommon to need a light narcotic or relaxant to sleep comfortably after a face lift.

Cool compresses, keeping your head elevated and not bending over all help. The tightness is from stitches and swelling and will subside and the pain should too. But again, see your plastic surgeon to be checked. Best wishes. 

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

Recovery after facelift, cheek implants and neck lift

It is not unusual to have a feeling of tightness 4 days after undergoing a facelift, placement of cheek implants and a neck lift.  Generally, this tightness will improve over time as the swelling subsides.  I would recommend contacting your surgeon and letting him or her know of your pain and sleeping issues.  It is possible that you could be prescribed a stronger pain medication and a sleeping pill to help.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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 120 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.