What Are the Best Methods to Reduce Facial Swelling Post Laser/fat Injections Treatment? (photo)

I had CO2 laser resurfacing to the face & chest along with fat transfer injections under the eyes. I am following the after care instructions including the use of post procedure balm, aquafor, Keflex, Acyclovir, Arnica & drinking lots of fluids. Any other suggestions to relieve swelling & minimize bruising. My eyes are almost swollen shut. I was prepared for the down time and understand that this is normal after laser. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 7

Best Methods For Reducing Facial Swelling Post Laser and Facial Fat Transfer

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Follow all of your surgeon's post-care instructions and keep all of your follow up appointments to ensure that you are healing optimally.  Additionally, I would recommend cold compresses on the area and consider applying arnica gel topically as well to mitigate the swelling.  Ensure that you are resting/sleeping with your head elevated, staying properly hydrated and eating enough to keep your energy level up.

Plano Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Sweling after the CO2 and fat grafting

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Swelling to the point the eyes are swollen shut can happen with these procedures.  Head elevation and cold compresses can definitely help.  I would also consider a short stint of steroids as well.

Swelling after fat trasfer

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swelling after fat transfer is seen. if it is hot or too tender see your physician. rest, ice pack or the spoon that was held in freezer can decrease swelling. if persistent see your doctor and medications to decrease swelling can be used. 

as other doctors mentioned keep head elevated when in bed. 

Parham Gharagozlou, MD, FACP
Walnut Creek Physician

Reduction of Facial Swelling after Laser, Fat Injections and Peels

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You are doing many things correctly. Here are some addtitional suggestions to reduce facial swelling:

Continued head elevation - sleep in recliner chair for up to the first week

Icing - not directly on skin, 20 min on then 20 min off if comfortable for the first 3 days

Low Salt diet

No heavy lifting, bending over or intense exercise

Reducing swelling after CO2 resurfacing

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Following your surgeon's post operative recommendations after a CO2 resurfacing is key. The swelling after a procedure with robust settings is impressive on its own, and when you lump periocular fat transfer on top of it, there's no surprise you are experiencing the kind of swelling that you are.

Specific portions of the post operative recommendations and swelling include:

1. Ice. Making sure you do no more than 15 to 20 minutes per hour, not placed directly on the skin. Your sensation may not be fully intact, and you do not want to provide a cold injury to your freshly lasered skin.

2. Head elevation. Keeping your head above your heart, at about 30° when you are resting or sleeping, will significantly reduce the swelling that you notice - especially in the morning.

3. Rest. Keeping your heart rate and blood pressure low, not bending over, etc. so I can help to reduce that amount of swelling that you experience.

4. Steroids. Anti-inflammatory medicine such as this may be provided by your physician if they feel it is necessary, but this will depend on the other procedures that you had. In your case with the fat transfer this is not something that will likely be prescribed.

Cameron Chesnut, MD, FAAD, FACMS
Spokane Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 121 reviews

Reducing Facial Swelling after Laser Treatment and Fat Injections

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It sounds like you are doing everything possible to reduce swelling after laser resurfacing and fat injections. Recovery  can be prolonged after a deep laser treatment. Continue to follow your physicians instructions.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Facial swelling after laser and fat injections to the face

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The swelling can be improved with steroids. But this could affect the survival of fat under your eyes. If you are patient, the swelling will come down really fast that first week. Keeping your head above your heart at all times during this earlier period can also help.


Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial 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.