I had a mid-face lift and lower bleth on March 31, 2016; how long will the side-effects last?

I had a mid face lift and lower bleth on March 31, 2016. Face, lips and even teeth are still numb. Right eye and cheek seem to be more swollen than the left side. when I wake in the morning I look pretty good, but by the end of the day, my face is throbbing, and my eyes look like they have deep circles indented under them. Almost like I can look down and see my cheeks swelling. How long will this last? It'll be 5 weeks post op in two days.

Doctor Answers 14

Healing following a facelift and lower blepharoplasty

At five weeks following a facelift and lower blepharoplasty my patients are generally feeling good and engaged in their regular activities without any problems. Although some patients do take longer to heal.  As you should still be seeing your plastic surgeon on a regular basis please share your concerns with her/him.  If you do not have an appointment scheduled make one as your do not want to continue to be uncomfortable.

Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Recovery Depends on Surgical Techniques

Mid-facelift can be performed in many different ways, but I am assuming most of the work was done through the lower eyelid and temple. Swelling of the cheeks can be prolonged, and is highly variable from patient to patient. As long as it is improving gradually, you should be fine over time. I would consult with your surgeon to get a better idea of your expected duration of recovery, which is highly dependent on the technique used. If your lips and teeth are numb, it suggests that an extensive periosteal dissection was used, which takes longer to recover from.

Healing Varies, But See Your Surgeon

At this stage of your recuperation, it's hard to say whether your symptoms are normal or whether you're experiencing complications. Healing times can vary quite a bit between patients, and it's entirely possible that you're simply slower than others. Numbness, in particular, can last for several months, but swelling has usually faded significantly by this point. In any case, it's wise to consult with the surgeon who performed your facelift to help you determine cause of your symptoms. I wish you well in your recovery.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Healing and Recuperation Following your Facelift

First and foremost, its best to remain patient. It is still early in to your recovery. 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). 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.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

I had a mid-face lift and lower bleth on March 31, 2016; how long will the side-effects last?

I would expect many of your symptoms to be resolved over the next 2-3 weeks.  Your teeth should not be numb following a mid facelift and blepharoplasty.  I suggest seeing her plastic surgeon  to start an investigation as to why your teeth are numb and whether or not a dental examination is needed. The other question is whether you have developed tic douloureux in response to the trauma of your mid facelift.

Mid-Face lift side effects

It's hard to say exactly how long the side effects will last after having this type of surgery. Usually 4-6 weeks is the worst part of the swelling and healing. Everyone is different and some could be sooner or longer. Some doctors will call in a diuretic to help with some of the residual swelling. I also think products such a Arnica can help with swelling/bruising. I would check with your plastic surgeon for suggestions. Numbness can subside in some areas and linger on in other areas for several more months. I don't know why your lips and teeth are numb. Again I would check with your PS. Good luck to you.

Sam T. Hamra, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Face lift and lower lid lift - how soon will swelling subside

Thank you for asking about your face lift and lower lid blepharoplasty.

  • Numbness after a face lift tends to last 6 - 18 months.
  • But teeth and lips should not usually be numb.
  • And swelling is usually fairly symmetric.
  • You may be a slow healer or you may just be sensitive to changes in your face, but after 6 weeks, please see your surgeon for a full check of your healing.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS


As others have noted healing can be quite variable. Many patients have near complete resolution of their swelling within two weeks but of course others take longer. Certainly there are medications and supplements such as ibuprofen, arnica gel, and bromelain that can help. I would first and foremost though be sure to see your surgeon in person more regularly if you need to so that he/she can give you more specific advice and reassurance. I always feel better when I see my patients if they feel like they are having trouble healing so that I can help them get through the recovery more quickly. 

Ravi Dahiya, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Post op swelling

Some people take longer to heal than others, and much of this depends on exactly what was done at surgery.  You can try taking some ibuprofen which can help with the inflammation.  Warm compresses are also helpful.  The inflammation will eventually subside. 

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Prolonged side effects following facial surgery

Most side effects of facial surgery will be gone within six weeks, even though numbness and other minor side effects can last for months or even years. Most of my patients are able to return to work or social activity within two weeks. The fact that you are having the prolonged side effects may indicate that you heal more slowly but I also wonder if there is another reason. Certainly there are treatments which can speed the relief of the symptoms but the bottom line is that healing is variable and will take time. If you are making slow but certain progress I would not be too concerned about it. Otherwise return to your surgeon or get a second opinion.

Richard O. Gregory, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.