I am 7 months post facelift with still a LOT of tightness all over. When will it go away?

SMAS facelift with forehead lift.

Doctor Answers 9

7 months postop

The question is whether you are improving.  If you are continuing to improve, time and continued care of your surgeon are the best options. It may take up to a year.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

When will the tightness go away

Everybody heals at their own unique pace. I have seen patients who note tightness in their neck up to six months after surgery even though their examination is completely normal. You should continue to have gradual improvement in the tightness over the next several months and it may take over a year for it to feel completely normal. If the tightness is getting worse I would follow up with your surgeon sooner rather than later.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tightness after facelift

This may take up to a year to completely settle down.  Discuss with your surgeon.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Tightness after face lifts

Key question - although tight, is the tightness getting better?


  • Tightness is normal after a face lift.
  • It comes from swelling in the tissues.
  • It can take up to 18 months to go away complete.
  • But it should be slowly improving at 7 months


If the tightness is no better or worsening - return to your surgeon. Your scars may be thickening and might be improved with some injections. Best of luck!

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

7 Months after Facelift and Residual Tightness

      If the tightness has been improving, then this will probably improve over the course of a year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

7 months post facelift with still a LOT of tightness all over. This will go away

The tightness should continue to go away. at 7 months you have about 80% of your healing and you should expect about another 15% of it to get better. Sometimes when more skin is taken than needed this could cause the tightness to persist.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Tightness 7 months after facelift

One of the goals of a facelift is to lift and tighten the skin of the face and neck.  In order for the results to be long lasting, tissues deeper than the skin have to be lifted and tightened.  This will causes a tight feeling in the face and neck which is a sign that the proper tissues were lifted.  This is an uncomfortable feeling after surgery, but the feeling will greatly improve or resolve 6-12 weeks following surgery.

Every patient heals differently, and it is not abnormal to still feel tightness 7 months after a facelift.  Massage and exercises that improve the range of motion of your neck will help to improve this tight feeling.  I do not recommend these movements unless the patient cannot tolerate the tight feeling, because they will loosen the tissues that were tightened for the facelift.   I would recommend speaking with your surgeon to determine how you may safely ease some of the tightness if it is causing you discomfort.  Thank you and good luck!

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Tightness takes months to fully resolve after facelift.

If your appearance is better after your facelift and you aren't noticing any abnormal facial contour, your tightness is likely just due to normal healing of the tissues.  While most patients feel their tissues have relaxed after 6 - 8 months, others may take longer, depending on what was done at their surgery.  Ask your surgeon for another appointment and voice your concerns.  This should help reassure you.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Tightness after Face Lift Surgery

Generally, most of the tight feeling fades entirely during the first 3-6 weeks after surgery; however, the feeling may be present up to a year after surgery. As the tissues continue to healing post facelift, you may notice that your swelling and tightness peak, but this should quickly subside. It is important to record your progress daily, attend post-operative appointments, ask questions and voice your concerns.  

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 116 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.