Mini facelift 2 weeks ago. Now have pull marks on cheeks towards ears on one side. (photo)

What can be done to correct problem if problem does not resolve on its own in a reasonable amount of time? What are my options? I'm look worse now than before the surgery. How long will it take to flatten out? Normal?

Doctor Answers 10

Healing Concerns Following a Facelift

The healing process in general can take up to one month for the majority of swelling to subside, incisions to close, sutures to come out, and for bruising to completely go away.
#Recovery time from a #facelift varies from person to person, but patients can generally expect to be presentable within three weeks from surgery. Patients should expect swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the skin during this phase of recovery (swelling normally goes down after 48 hours; most bruising will go away within two weeks). Additionally, the #swelling will move downward in the first week and the neck will feel even tighter. Do not be alarmed: the sensation will decrease during the first month. The marks from a facelift can easily hidden with “camouflage” make-up which you can learn how to apply.
The scars from a facelift mature within six to twelve months from the surgery date. It is during this time that the rejuvenating effects of the facelift will become apparent and the real result will be seen. If you have certain concerns about the procedures and #healing process, it is recommended to call your board-certified surgeon or their medical staff and discuss those #concerns.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Scar revision

I agree with most replies that time and scar massage will improve the pulled appearance.  However an option you may consider is to have your surgeon excise more skin along your temporal hairline, this will avoid the gathering that is occurring at your temporal hairline.  Although the cost is a slightly longer scar along your temporal hairline, it will correct this gathering that may or may not improve.  

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Mini Facelift Pleats

Thank you for your question and pictures Lisa.  You are only two weeks post op therefore swelling, bruising and tightness will still be present.  Bunching of the skin is completely normal and in time can create smoother and neater incisions.  I will suggest to my patients after 4 weeks massaging with oil or cream can be performed in circular motions to soften any lumps,bumps and pleats caused.    This should improve as the swelling goes down and the skin accommodates. Please do make sure you have regular follow ups with your surgeon so he can access and ensure the healing process is looking good.  Unfortunately, some patients surgery will take 3-6 months to completely settle, so do be patient! 

All The Best

Post op Mini lift

Thanks for sharing.  Ideally we try to move the skin show that the lines of pull are minimized.  Patients with pre-existing deeper wrinkles may potentially show more of this directional change.  The acute swelling accentuates this look and oftentimes it is temporary.  This should improve as the swelling goes down and the skin accommodates. Follow up with your surgeon and he will decide if anything needs to be done to improve this.  On another note, sometimes it is better to have a facelift incision and not a mini facelift incision to help properly lift and move the skin.  (I am not saying this is the case here) Smaller incisions may confine the proper lift and inadvertently cause lines of pull.  For those of you researching discuss with your surgeon whether a mini versus and normal facelift would be best.

Raymond E. Lee, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Pleating along facelift incission line

Thanks for your photos Lisa. These pleats occur because the facial skin is pulled upward and needs to be bunched up to fit nicely into the incision line. This is Completely normal. Because the skin is a live organ it will re model and flatten out with time. 3-6 months is typical. It will improve greatly along the way and will be easy to camouflage in the coming weeks.

Good Luck!

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 105 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Give it more time.  You are still swollen.  Massage can help, but ask your primary surgeon and share your concerns.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Facelift recovery

Thank you for your question. It is understandable to be concerned about the appearance at this early stage of healing, but do not worry. These pleats and wrinkles tend to work themselves out with time, typically by 4-6 weeks, certainly by 3 months. I know that seems like an eternity right now, but keep up with your surgeon closely. He/she may suggest some massage at this point? Best wishes.

Paul J. Leahy, MD
Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Mini-Facelift Issues

Lisa.  I appreciate your concern but too early to fret at this point. There is still postop swelling, and skin should settle down. Worse case scenario, minor revision could be done under local, but must wait at least 6-9 months for swelling and scarring to settle down. Try to be patient, good luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


You seem to have significant sun damage and fine wrinkles of the face.The facelift seems to have pulled the skin not the is possible but may need two procedures, which include revision of the facelift

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

2 weeks is early to assess results

Although I can definitely see and appreciate the wrinkling that you are concerned about, at two weeks postop it is way too early to worry about this being a permanent issue. Quite commonly the skin may look tight, pulled, or unnatural this soon after a facelift or mini facelift. With time quite a bit of these types of concerns improve and settle themselves out. Best to discuss this with your plastic surgeon and if he or she isn't concerned, then try to not worry and give it more time. I hope this helps!

Anthony Youn, MD, FACS
Detroit Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 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.