Is There Anything That Can Speed Up Reducing Swelling After A Lower Face Lift and Neck Lipo?

Doctor Answers 19

Swelling after Facelift

For our patients we recommend cold compresses 15 min every hour for the first 3 days. After that, our patients switch to warm applications. In addition, all of our facelift patient are scheduled to have a lymphatic drainage massage with additional benefit. Homeopathic products such as arnica montana do not hurt either - how much they help is unclear. Lastly and most importantly, patience is necessary. 


Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Facelift Aftercare Instructions

Thank you for your question.  This is my aftercare protocol I will give to my patients to advise you, however please ask your plastic surgeon to guide you:
Aftercare in the first 24 Hours post procedure In the first 24 hours post procedure it is important to follow these simple steps
  • Sleep with your head up as much as possible. This can be done be propping yourself up in bed with 2-3 pillows. This will allow any residual fluid to drain away and will ease the feeling of facial Fullness.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat well the evening of your procedure.
  • Avoid showering until the morning after your procedure. We then encourage you to shower and wash your hair as normal. Once you have done this, you can then gently blow dry your hair and the area around your ears with the hairdryer on its cool setting.
  • Avoid putting any cosmetic products including cleaners, moisturisers and make up on or around the incisions.
  • You may require some mild painkillers in the first few days post Concept Facelift, We would recommend a combination of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol- providing you are not allergic to either of these medications.
  • You will have been provided with some protective pads which are to place on your pillow case at night and will absorb any residual oozing.
  • Some oozing is common in the first 24-48 post procedure and we provide you with some sterile gauze so that you can dab any drips. Mild oozing is nothing to be alarmed about and is a normal part of the healing process.
After care in the following days and weeks post procedure You will already have received your follow up Consultation appointment for approximately 5-7 days post procedure. However it is important to continue to follow the subsequent “Do’s and Don’ts”.
  • Do use a cool pack on the incisions as this will help reduce any residual fullness.
  • Do continue with painkillers if required, as around 5% of patients will have some ear pain which will settle within a week or two.
  • Do shower and hair wash daily.
  • Do resume normal activities however avoid vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for 2 weeks post procedure.
  • Don’t apply any make up, moisturiser or oils to the incision line until advised by us.
  • Don’t allow pets of any variety to share a bed with you and avoid allowing pets near your face for the first four weeks after your procedure. Allowing pets near your face has the potential to result in an infection. However being vigilant will help reduce this risk.
  • Do be vigilant with hand hygiene.
  • Do notify us immediately if you have any concerns or notice any increased redness, heat around the incision or if you have any discharge from around the ear.
Once we have seen you at your follow up Consultation, we will then advise on when you can start massaging the area around your ears and the best technique to use. We recommend the use of scar improvement oils such as Bio-oil.

Swelling after face and necklift

Thank you for your question for sharing your concerns with us. Swelling and firmness in the tissues will return to normal as time passes by. Between the first and second week, much of your swelling and bruising will dissipate. It may take more than a month or two for your tissues to fully soften and any residual swelling to resolve. Lymphatic massage maybe an option to help clear the swelling and firmness at a faster pace. I would make sure that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon during this period of time.

Treating Swelling After Facelift surgery

Keep the head elevated as much as possible and sleep with several pillows under your head and shoulders. Avoid salty foods as they will make you retain water, and keep hydrated. VitaMedica has great supplements with Bromelain and Arnica that aids in recovery. Good Luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Vitamins and Lymphatic Drainage

There are multiple things you can do to speed up swelling reduction such as compression, vitamins, lymphatic drainage massage, and elevation. Most physicians will use a compression bandage or a chin strap for a varying amount of time after the surgery to speed up reduction of swelling. Additionally, Bromelain and other vitamins can speed up the recovery process. Lymphatic drainage treatment by a specifically trained massage therapist can also be beneficial. Your surgeon may also recommend sleeping with your head elevated above your heart (propped on several pillows) for the next week to help.

Kristina Tansavatdi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Reduce Swelling Following Facelift and Lipo

Cool compresses with elevation of your head on pillows can be beneficial initially, followed by pressure. Lymphatic drainage massage has also been helpful. It's also important for patients not to be too active and to allow time for the swelling to resolve. The major swelling should fade after a week or 2. If it lasts longer, contact your surgeon.

Wandra K. Miles, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

It's all about fluid

When one has an operation like a face lift where natural tissue relationships are altered, our body responds with inflammation.  This is not infection, but the body's response to the stress of the operation.  Among the effects is accumulation of fluid in the tissue. This can be addressed by physical means, such as elevation (so the fluid can run "downhill"), compression, lymphatic massage or ultrasound (after 10 days or so).  These all help. Physiologic measures, such as low sodium intake or use of medications that modulate the inflammatory response (e.g., bromelain, an extract of pineapple plant stems or arnica montana, an herb).  It is important for your surgeon to address the likely postoperative things before the operation so they are anticipated and understood.  This aids in both the level of comfort with what is happening and the patient's ability to do appropriate things when issues like swelling arise.  Patience is a virtue here. 

Jeffrey G. Copeland, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Depends on how many days past surgery.

I agree with much of the other posted advice. Namely, compression, head elevation, arnica gel, and bromelain are very useful. I think in the first week cold compresses are helpful but by the second week if there is still noticeable swelling then alternating between warm and cold compresses can be more helpful. We advise our patients to apply a warm compress followed immediately by a cold one several times a day and this seems to help considerably. However, I stress that this should be done in the second week and not the first because if done too early it can actually make things worse. Best of luck

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

The speed of resolution of swelling after facelift for the most part genetically determined.

There are a few things that can assist in improving modestly the rate of healing after facelift. Number one avoid high salt intake. Modest compression garments may help the neck. Elevation can also make a difference.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Swelling can be difficult to control

Thanks for your question. Try to avoid looking down and keep your head propped up. Sleeping on a wedge or pillows is helpful. Avoid salt and maintain hydration. I do not like to bandage because I think it can impair lymphatic drainage. I do agree that Arnica tablets are helpful. Best of luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 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.