How Can I Reduce the Swelling on my Parotid Gland After Facelift?

I had a neck and lower face lift just over 2 weeks ago. It has been extremely painful and difficult to chew on my left side. Nearly all my swelling has gone apart from the huge swelling just below my left ear and also left cheek. I am in the uk and went to Turkey for the surgery, I have sent pictures and have been told that it just takes time, but this is not right. I am eating soft foods so not to chew and even then, the swelling gets worse and feels much tighter. Help

Doctor Answers 12

Parotid Gland Swelling

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Thank you for your question. Patients may, after having a facelift surgery, experience swelling of the parotid gland which must be reduced. Generally, the use of Botox or the scopolamine patch can be used to improve the area, but must be done in the hands of an experienced surgeon to negate the possibility of infection.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 180 reviews


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The swelling that you are having on the side where you are complaining about is “not normal” It appears that you may have swelling related to the parotid gland. This is a not an unusual problem but it is a problem that should be dealt with. Essentially parotid gland secretions are going into the face rather inside the mouth therefore you need something to reduce the production of saliva from your parotid gland In general treatment such as scopolamine patch as well as Botox injected directly into the area where the swelling is, in addition to removal of the fluid are options for improving the area. I recommend you contact a cosmetic surgeon who performs a lot of facelift and has experience treating this kind of problem otherwise there is potential for this area to get worse as well as get to become infected.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Parotid swelling after facelift

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This is not a time to scold you for trying to save money. This is the time to see a board certified plastic surgeon to advise you. There are numerous things that help including scopalomine patch or botox into the gland. See a professsional  please.

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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Parotid swelling after a facelift

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There is the possibility that you had some injury to your parotid gland. There are ways to treat this. One could be botox / dysport to your parotid gland until it heals.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

How to treat a facial surgery complication performed out of the country.

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Your problem may resolve with time, but there is little consolation in telling you this when you should really see a Board Certified Plastic or ENT surgeon in your area.  This has always been the problem with having surgery out of the country offered by the lowest bidder  The diagnosis and treatment for this condition will require some intervention by a skilled professional, and advice given over the the internet specific for the treatment definitely falls short of what is needed.  Good luck to you..


Frank Rieger M.D.  Board Certified Tampa( Florida) Plastic Surgeon

Face lift complication

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Sorry that you are having problems with your face lift surgery. Trying to find treatment on the internet is another mistake. The first one was going to another country for surgery. From the description of your problem, it seems to me you know there is something wrong. And now, its about time you do the right thing; go and see a plastic surgeon in your area.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Not All Cheek Swelling is Parotid Swelling

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First, you need to seek the care of a board certified plastic surgeon near your home to follow you and make sure in fact that this is because of Parotid Swelling. If so he might recommend a Scopolamine tanscutaneous patch to decrease its activity. However there are a lot of other factors such as hematoma, seroma, infection, etc that can also cause the symptoms you mentioned

Your story unfortunately is all to common of the Medical Tourism industry where patients substitute best surgical care and followup for the chance a cheaper surgery by an surgeons with potentially substandard training and the inability for follow-up care.

Reduce postop swelling 2 weeks after facelift?

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  I agree with the other doctors who replied.  Complications after cosmetic surgery are rare, and because of this, certainly there are patients like yourself who seek out lower prices in third world countries.  Although you may just have a hematoma which will improve with time, you could also have an infection or other severe problem that may require medical or even surgical treatment and that no one on this forum can help you with.  You will need to return to your operating surgeon. 

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Surgical Tourism

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Your problem highlights the problem of 'surgical tourism.' The operating surgeon is no longer available to take care of you, and others will be reluctant to do so.

Why would you travel from the UK, where there are many well-qualified and skilled plastic surgeons on your doorstep to a place far from home and practically inaccessible for routine postoperative visits?

I digress. My best advice is to go back to Turkey and stay close to your surgeon so he can deal with his (and your) complication. It's only a four hour flight.

J. Brian Boyd, MD
Rolling Hills Estates Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Several things may create this problem - all need immediate surgical consultation

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"Huge swelling below the left ear and cheek would usually mean a choice of several situations:

  • hematoma/seroma
  • Infection
  • a salivary gland leak

They all will need management by a plastic or ENT surgeon.

You should seek consultation.

Dr. Mayl

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

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.