Is this normal healing or something I should be worried about? (Photos)

I had a lower face/neck lift and liposuction three weeks ago. My neck is very hard and swollen When i put my head back i can see and feel a vertical rigid tube line under my chin. Behind my ear is a fold of skin. I have been advised to massage areas gently. Am very worried

Doctor Answers 15

Healing Concern Following a Facelift

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). Additionally, the #swelling will move downward in the first week and the neck will feel even tighter. Do not be alarmed: the sensation will decrease during the first month. 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.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews


Recovery after a facelift is usually fairly speedy with minimal discomfort. That said, it is typical to have areas of firmness and mild swelling that persist for several months. These are typically something that you would notice, but no one else. Incisions can also have some thickness for several weeks to months. 

All of this is where close follow up with your surgeon is critical. Scar fading cream can be helpful to soften incision scars and firmness. Areas of thickness may require steroid injection. With time, however, all areas should improve.

Mark Hamilton, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Early facelift healing

Your swelling, bruising and irregularities behind your ears are very common following your face, necklift, and liposuction  surgery. In the early stages, neck tightness, swelling and hardness are common healing changes noted from the pictures you submitted. I agree to weekly lymphatic massages and frequent followup with your plastic surgeon. It may take up to 3-6 months for resolution and complete healing in these areas of your concern.

Andrew Turk, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Post Op Facelift, Neck Lift & Lipo

Thank you for your question, swelling and bruising looks apparent in the neck which is very typical for neck lift and liposuction.  Scabbing and pleating at the back of the ears in not uncommon in the early stages, but please return to your plastic surgeon to ensure the wound is healing as should be.  Regularly follow ups should be made.  Final results can take 3-6 months for everything to settle.  All The Best 


these signs are entirely normal so soon after a facelift. Keep patient and things will improve but your final result may take 3-6 months to achieve. 

Hope that helps. 

Adam Goodwin

Skin chnages after facelift

There appears to be some induration  and some crusts in the areas shown. Probably best to see your surgeon to see what he recommends.

Andres Bustillo, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Post op facelift

You appear to have swelling and induration in the neck.  You also have some pleating of skin.  These are not uncommon and should improve with massage and time.  Follow up closely with your surgeon to help you through the recovery process.  Good luck.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


1-2 weeks for most of your bruising to resolve and all sutures removed, ~One month of no heavy lifting/ strenuous work. Most of the swelling is gone in the first month, but some residual swelling can take a few more months to settle. See an experienced Board Certified surgeon for more info.

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Kevin Dieffenbach, MD
Oahu Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Face lift

Your concerns are quite common.  Usually time heals this and sometimes massage or ultrasound treatments can help as well.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Is this normal healing after facelift.

There can be stiffness and numbness in the tissue after facelift with bruising in the neck as we see for several weeks. Continue to see your surgeon regularly for guidance.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 40 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.