Is this an edema under my left eye? If not what is it? (Photos)

2 weeks ago I went to a reputable PS in the US for a tertiary rhino (osteotomy on left side) upper facelift and fat grafting to face, 22cc's total. My swelling has been decreasing at an appropriate rate each day but the giant lump under my left eye has stayed close to the same size since day 3 post. I am following all post op instructions. Is this an edema? How can it be fixed quickly? I can't see my PS in person and he isn't available for another week to FaceTime. Need it to be ok in 1 week.

Doctor Answers 14


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It is very normal to have such swelling esp after multiple procedures.  Cold compresses in the first week help.  Rest and sleep upright.  This will resolve in due course.  

Post op swelling

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This can definitely still be within normal after  surgery because you are so close to your operative date. 

As you pointed out a large part of the asymmetric swelling is likely the osteotomies. Breaking those bones is traumatic (helpful and is likely what you needed) but traumatic none the less.

Answer: I have found that a salt restricted diet (less than 1000 mg of sodium/day) can make a large difference in the acute phase. 

You should ask your surgeon but at this stage it is likely ok to trial some ice and warm compress alterations.

Time will tell and will likely be the cure but I do understand your need to get back to life ASAP.



Benjamin Caughlin, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Edema after facelift

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Thank you for your question and photos. It's hard to tell for certain what the swelling represents but based on these limited photos it looks like swelling. Swelling can linger sometimes but usually resolves within 3 weeks. Discuss with your surgeon to see if they would like you to massage it or other suggestions. Good luck

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Left eyelid swelling post rhinoplasty

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Hello! It is impossible for another surgeon to look at swelling and tell you exactly what it is. It could be fat, swelling, hematoma, etc. It is best to speak with your surgeon about it and his recommendations. Be prepared to be patient- there seldom are quick fixes for post operative swelling no matter the cause. Good luck.

Catherine Winslow, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Swelling under one eye after rhinoplasty osteotomy, face lift and fat grafting

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Thank you for asking about your cosmetic surgery recovery.

  • The swelling may be from fat injections, the face lift or, just as likely, from the osteotomy.
  • Please send these photos and a message to your surgeon for his comments.
  • It is hard to predict how soon such swelling will go down and it cannot usually be 'fixed' - it is probably tissue reaction to the surgery and will subside by itself.
  • Keeping ice over the area as much as possible. sleeping with your head elevated and never blowing your nose are standard steps to reduce swelling in this area.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Is this an edema under my left eye? If not what is it?

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Of course all of us on this site can say the swelling may be due to this or that, it may be edema or bruising or fat grafting and it may or may not look OK in a week. In other words no reliable answers. The only good answer will have to come from your surgeon after he sees you. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


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It could just be normal post-op swelling more on one side than other.  Unfortunately it can not be fixed quickly.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Is this an edema under my left eye? If not what is it?

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Thank you for your question.  You had multiple significant procedures including an osteotomy of the nose on the left side and upper face lift and fat grafting.  Considering the amount of surgery that you had I think your recovery looks perfectly appropriate and could explain the swelling or edema and bruising around the eyes worse on the left side.  I would suggest that you send your photos by email to your plastic surgeon for advice.  However after so many procedures you look appropriate to me.

Swelling after osteotomy and fat grafting

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The cause of the swelling may be due to the surgery, or the fat grafting. It is too early to know what will probably become apparent after additional time. Massage, warm compresses, elevation, and even steroid injection will help.

Richard O. Gregory, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Revision rhinoplasty and facelift

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The swelling you have is normal considering the procedures you had done.  The osteotomy on the left side makes that side have more swelling.  Bone involvement requires longer for resolution.  The addition of a facelift and fat transfer contributes to the swelling.  It will continue to improve over the next several weeks.  Head elevation will help.  Time will correct your issues.  Good luck.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 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.