My lower facelift has fallen on one side and my jaw remains chronically swollen at 18 months post surgery, what should I do?

After 18 months the swelling in my left jaw has not resolved and in the past month my left jowl has returned with mild discomfort and a swollen node in my neck. I lost trust in my doctor and at 12 months found a revision surgeon who shared my concerns. He asked me to wait to 24 months before scheduling the revision. I'm not yet a patient of the new surgeon but do not trust the original surgeon. With new developments is it wise to continue patiently waiting or should I seek medical help now?

Doctor Answers 4

Swelling 18 months after facelift surgery

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After 18 month you have been more than patient, and consulting another surgeon is appropriate.

With regards to your possible lymph node swelling and mild facial discomfort, I feel this should take priority.  Take the time to be evaluated by another doctor regarding this matter.

If this resolves a secondary facelift may benefit you. 

Aliso Viejo Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Persistent Swelling

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Thank you for your question. It sounds like you have been very patient. 18 months is more than enough time for swelling to resolve. At this point I feel the bigger question is whether or not what is being labeled as swelling is perhaps a jowl that has not been fully corrected or something else. Without a picture and exam its difficult to say. The lymph node in your neck suggests that there is inflammation  or possibly something else at this point. I feel the most prudent course of action would be a comprehensive exam by a head and neck surgeon (ENT) to have these areas fully evaluated
Best of Luck

Lee A. Gibstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon

Lower Facelift with one side worse

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Sounds like you may have had more swelling on one side after surgery. Swelling can stretch the skin and cause early relapse. Waiting 12 to 24 months is reasonable, the key is to wait for all swelling to go down and to allow your skin to relax again. There are alternatives to surgery that may be helpful. A limited suture lift might fix the issue. You might best see someone with the full experience of a board certified plastic surgeon ASAPS member. Good luck.

Jowls falling after Facelift

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Dear Ms. "Notjustlooking"

Thank you for sharing your concerns. It is important that you seek medical care, potentially in the form of a second or third opinion. There are many reasons that can cause swolen lymph nodes or potential submandibular gland swelling that are un-related to a cosmetic procedure, so that needs to be looked into by someone well versed in the medicine of the Head and Neck (such as an Otolaryngologist - ear Nose and Throat doctor ) but who also is well versed in Facial Plastic Surgery. i.e. someone who is double board certified.

Furthermore, now, with regards to the cosmetic issues at hand, often times they can be easily resolved with non-invasive or micro-invasive procedures such as ThermiSmooth, Fractora, ThermiTight or FaceTight,  (just to name a few options) without having to resort to more surgery. It is hard to tell in your case without seeing your pictures and examining you carefully in person. The surgeon you pick for your second opinion, in addition to the qualifications mentioned above, should also be very experienced and well versed in non-invasive techniques so as to be able to guide you either towards surgery or towards non-invasive or micro-invasive methods according to your needs.

Hope this helps !
Best wishes for your journey !

Dr. Anna Petropoulos
Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Boston's North Shore

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.