Why is my face sagging a month after my Facelift? (photos)

I had a full face lift in August 2016 and September its sagging and getting worse. Dr. did a full face lift and its falling and I look awful. What do I need to do to fix it and how long do I need to wait?

Doctor Answers 10

Face Sagging?

Thank you for your question.

I'm sorry that you aren't happy with your results.  Even though you aren't happy, it's best to go back to your surgeon to voice your concerns and let them see the results.  They will be able to offer recommendations on what to do next.  If you don't like the recommendations, or don't feel comfortable with more treatment from that doctor, you are always entitled to go elsewhere.  Still, it's always best to start the conversation with your own surgeon.


Dr. Michael Epstein

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Adjustment Procedure

Thank you for your question and pictures, I am sorry you are not happy with your surgery.  Please ensure you make return follow ups with your surgeon to express your concerns, it maybe that an adjustment procedure could to made to rectify the areas with are concerning you.  Please do be patient and give it time to settle, in 6 months if you are still not happy then an adjustment would be the way forward.  All The Best 

Too soon to judge

I am sorry that you are unhappy with your results, but you are still early in your recovery. It can take anywhere from 6 months to a year for your final results. For now, be patient. You are still swollen. If, at the 6 month mark, you are still not liking what you see then schedule an appointment with your surgeon to discuss.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Facelift Question

Thank you for your question.  I am sorry that you have had this experience with your facelift.  I would be sure to discuss your concerns with your surgeon.  From your pictures, you do still have some swelling left after surgery. I can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year for all swelling to subside.  If you are still unhappy with your results, I would conult with a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon, who specializes in facelifts.  

I hope that this helps!

-David Gilpin

David Gilpin, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Addressing Facelift Concerns

Thank you for your question and providing pictures. It is important to remember that every patient heals at a different rate. Even if you are unhappy with your results, I recommend seeing your surgeon because he is the only one that knows what techniques were utilized and can provide a more accurate timeline for your healing. Best wishes!


Hello and thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear about your experience.  I recommend that you return to your surgeon and share your concerns.  Hopefully they can help you.  If you are still not happy, then seek a second opinion consultation. 

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 78 reviews

Your mid-face is either still swollen or needs work

Without knowing exactly what was done, it is hard to comment accurately.  However, your mid-face swelling needs to resolve.  If it does not, any revision facelift surgery will require a sub-periosteal mid-face lift.  

The ligaments of the mid-face connect the fat pads of the area under and beside the eye with the lower fat pads (orbitomalar).  In your case, you appear to have what are called malar bags that can result from prolonged swelling.  Or you may be one of those patients who require directly treating the mid-face in a sophisticated manner.  An endoscopic method of doing this is with an endotine, which requires experience to use properly. 

For most of the surgery, you should probably give it 11 months to a year.  

Gregory S. Keller, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Disappointing facelift three months after surgery.

It is impossible for us to give you good advice since there is no way for us to know what technique was used to lift your face.  One facelift can be much different from another including or excluding SMAS plication, cheekpad resuspension, platysmal plication and other technical details.  Some surgeons prefer to minimize incisions and leave more skin behind whereas others camouflage longer incisions and remove more skin with a facelift.  Your face does look swollen and so I would advise you to restrict your salt intake but I am afraid that you may not be satisfied with the end result even after resolution of swelling.  If so, have a frank discussion with your plastic surgeon and consider the option of revisionary surgery.  Best wishes,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


Thank you for your question. There can be swelling and bruising after the facelift that lasts beyond the initial 2-4 week post op mark. While this may be the cause of your experience, it is important that you consult with the board certified facial plastic surgeon who performed your surgery. Please keep in mind that you are still in the healing process and will continue to see improvement as you recovery.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Face lift sagging early after surgery

Thank you for asking about your face lift.

  • I am sorry this is happening.
  • Your swelling is going down - the early result after a face lift is affected by swelling.
  • Without a before photo and knowing what was done, one can't say much -
  • I suggest you take the matter up with your surgeon and review your before photos to see what change there has been.
  • You need to wait at least six months to see your final result and to have a revision.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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.