Sores Around Ears & Droopy Saliva Gland After Facelift? (photo)

I had a facelift/necklift 15 days ago. I am not a smoker, never have been, nor am I around smokers. I developed sores around my ears, have a droopy saliva gland, stiff neck, and bruising around the ears and neck. I'm in close contact with my PS, who is wonderful. I'm having lymphatic massage, keeping the wounds clean twice a day. Will all these problems resolve? Will the saliva gland go back into place? Anything else I can do to hassen the healing process? I'm eating well and walking.

Doctor Answers 7

Am I healing from my facelift normally?

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From the photos that you provided, I don't see anything that you need to be worried about at this point in the healing process. I anticipate that with compliance with your surgeons wound care instructions you should experience resolution of the redness. The sagging submandibular gland can be a more difficult issue. I would give yourself at least 9 months to heal before you determine whether or not sagging submandibular glands are detracting from your overall result. I would make sure that you follow up with your surgeon.

Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Poor healing and visible glands after face lift

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Your face lift photos show skin redness and a few small open areas. This is common behind and around the ear after a face lift because the skin here is thin. Healing will take about 2-4 more weeks. It happens in non-smokers as well as smokers

For the salivary gland - I see swelling but not a clear outline of the submaxillary gland. The neck swelling is normal and takes time to go down. 

Keep up the good wound care and keep in touch with your plastic surgeon


Sores Around Ears & Droopy Saliva Gland After Facelift?

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Great posted photos. The wound healing is a very common issue following facelifting. In the next few weeks to a month this will resolve by GOOD wound care and frequent in office follow ups. As for the ptotic submandibular salivary gland, unfortunately this will always have a slight visual presence. The ONLY way to correct is to re operate and sling the gland or even radically think of it's remove (I do not recommend removal). Discuss with your chosen PS.

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Issues After a Facelift Will Go Away

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I don't see anything obvious to be concerned about. Some people heal quickly without any issues, and some have what you show in your photos. The facelift flap is a long one, and the blood supply can be somewhat tenuous, making the "sores" normal and nothing to be concerned about. They will heal nicely if given enough time. While smoking does increase the likelihood of a longer recovery, I have had patients with have no risk factors (smoking, diabetes, vascular disease) who have taken longer to heal. The salivary glands were almost certainly droopy prior to your surgery, but are simply more visible now that your neck skin has been tightened. This is also nothing to be concerned about. I routinely use lymphatic massage following my surgeries and have found that my patients seem to heal a bit faster, bruise and swell a little less, and I think because of the personal contact that occurs during the massage itself, seem to feel better sooner. Hang in there. Things will be looking great sooner than you think.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Face and Necklift after 2 Weeks

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   At 2 weeks, the face and neck can be swollen quite a bit, and descent of gland cannot be assessed well in the photos at this time.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Healing issues..

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It’s very good that you are staying close contact with your plastic surgeon. The areas that appear to be having some healing issues will most likely heal with proper care. It is best that your plastic surgeon continue to advice you as your doctor is able to see your situation in person as suppose to the photos you’re providing.

I personally do not believe there is an ounce of value in the "lymphatic massage."

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I think for 15 days out from a face lift you actually look quite good.  The sores near the ears are healing skin from compromised circulation in the long flap created by the facelift.  This is often most dramatic in diabetics, smokers, and former smokers but well reported without this history.   However the few focal areas that are raw will undoubtedly heal up just fine and in 6 to 12 months be barely noticeable as to their prior location.  From the photos, not sure I agree that the salivary glands are visible.  It is possible but the contour issue seems very minor especially considering how early you are from surgery.  My advice is to relax, be patient, and follow the advice of your plastic surgeon. 

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.