I am concerned after having facelift I have lymphedema. I had facelift by surgeon uses deep technique called a paramedian lift

10 days post op I had rupture of superficial temporal artery and had to have surgery to have evacuation of fluid and tie off the artery. Its been 6mo & tight feeling in neck & jowls seems to be worse. swelling in face is better but still present. I am concerned this could be lymphedema? If so, how to confirm? And am I headed for much worse disfigurement ie. fibrosis, cellulitis etc. in the future? Im so scared. Could this be that the swelling just needs more time to subside like possibly a year?

Doctor Answers 7

Facelift & Lyphedema

A facelift will not typically results in lyphedema so I think you're safe. Whenever we talk about healing, we speak averages but the reality is that each patient heals at her own rate. And for some, it can take a year or longer. If you haven't already, definitely schedule an appointment with your surgeon to get the situation assessed in person. At the very least, it will help to alleviate your anxiety. 


Kouros Azar

Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

I am concerned after having facelift I have lymphedema

Hello.  Thank you for your question.  It is difficult to make any assessment of your concerns without pictures.  However, it can typically take at least 9 - 12 months for healing process to complete following an uncomplicated facelift, and some soft tissue swelling can persist throughout this time frame, which can vary significantly from one patient to another.  Deep plane facelift is associated with prolonged swelling and longer recovery, compared to more conservative facelift procedures.  The complication of postoperative hematoma from superficial temporal artery bleed, and subsequent surgical management, can also increase the swelling and prolong the recovery process.  I would encourage you to communicate your concerns to your primary surgeon, follow their recommendations for postoperative care, and be patient with the healing process.  I would anticipate continued improvement over time.  I wish you the best in your recovery.

Michael Boggess, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

I am concerned after having facelift I have lymphedema. I had facelift by surgeon uses deep technique called a paramedian li

I do not think you have what is classically referred to as lymphedema.  You do  have obvious swelling.  Lymphatic massage by a qualified physical therapist or message therapist may well be a bit of benefit to you.  Certainly you should speak to your operative plastic surgeon.  Some face lift techniques may result in more prolonged swelling than others. 

Stanley P. Gulin, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


Since you had the complication from the hematoma evacuation, you will likely experience more swelling than usual.  This should resolve completely.  Lymphedema of the head and neck is usually related to surgery for cancer with concomitant radiation therapy.  A facelift procedure should not lead to this complication. 

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

Facelift #faceliftrecovery #fatgrafting #beauty #tmbcosmeticsurgery #woundhealing #fillers #jowls

Dear Realself7116

Thank you for your questions!  I am sorry you are experiencing difficulty with your recovery.  It is hard to assess and advise without photos or an examination. The healing can take up to a year and a half.  Please see your surgeon for the answers or seek another opinion.

With Warm Regards

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Lymphedema after facelift

Usually by six months after a facelift most of the swelling has resolved. However,if you had to have reoperative surgery shortly after your initial procedure, the swelling and firmness may be more prolonged. The fact that the swelling is improved is a good sign. I recommmend frequent massage to assist in the process. It may take as long as a year for the tissues to settle and soften. It is unlikely that you are headed for a worse outcome.

James H. Rogers, MD
Ocala Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Swelling post facelift

Generally the deeper the lift is performed usually the more swelling there is and then to boot you had a torn temporal artery with a hematoma so you healing phase will be longer so massage and heat may help.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 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.