Swelling or something gone wrong after facelift surgery? (Photo)

I am 51 years old, and I had facelift surgery 20 days ago. Most of the swelling go away, except it show as if there are soft pad insert each side under neat my cheeks. I also has one hole on below my left cheek, and on right side there is a string shap 1/2" wide pulling from my ear to corner mouth. Please let me know this is normal swelling, if not, can these problems be fixed. Thank you so much.

Doctor Answers 15

Swelling at 3 Weeks is Expected

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Hi, Novi170, and thank you for providing photos along with your question. Swelling and bruising following facelift surgery can persist for several weeks. Without a "before" photo or more knowledge about the specific technique used by your plastic surgeon, it's not possible to say what is causing your areas of concern. I would be patient and see if the uneven areas become more uniform during the next few weeks, as different parts of the face can heal at different rates. If it has not improved to your satisfaction, return to your plastic surgeon to discuss the issue.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 71 reviews


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Thank you for your question. Patients experience a lot of bruising and swelling during the first two weeks after surgery, however, it takes up to 12 months (and sometimes longer depending on the individual's unique healing process) for a patient to heal fully from the facelift. You are most likely experiencing normal swelling, but it would be best for you to consult with your board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Facelifts are accomplished

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through many different techniques and without knowing the details, no objective comment can be made.  But you do have the dents that you see on your cheeks.  Contour issues, if they do not resolve on their own, can be easily addressed with fat grafting or dermal fillers so focus on your healing and make sure your surgeon is aware of your concerns as you continue to recover from your procedure.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Facelifting #woundhealing #cosmeticsurgery #BOTOX #tmbcosmeticsurgery

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Dear Novi170

Thank you for  your question and photos!  You will still have swelling at this point- please see your surgeon for follow up - as they have performed the procedure and can guide you through the post operative phase the best.

With Warm Regards

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Facial swelling and contour concerns after a facelift.

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You are only 20 days out from your surgery, so I would be in touch with your surgeon to discuss your concerns.  It can take months to get to the final result.  There are many approaches to performing a facelift, so without knowing what technique was used or what your appearance was before hand it is hard to say what is going on.  Patients with considerable preoperative laxity and jowling will sometimes get "stretch-like" bands on their facial skin from the pull of the facial tissues.  Usually this will smooth with time.  It is possible if your concerns don't improve with time that some dermal filler (Restylane or another) could improve the facial contours.  Please let your surgeon know of your concerns, and follow his/her recommendations as they care about your result and satisfaction.  Best regards.

John R. Burroughs, MD
Colorado Springs Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Needs examination and follow up

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There could be several reasons for your areas of concern. It depends upon what I was done and your surgeon is the best person to answer this. First, give it more time to heal and then follow with your surgeon and he would be the best person to answer your questions.

Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS
Ontario Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Problems after Facelift?

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I understand your concern re the irregular surface after your facelift but you're only 29 days post-op. This will change as healing progresses; your surgeon can best answer your questions. Gentle massage and ultra sound may be  helpful. 

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

Give it time

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at this soon after surgery, these types of irregularities are usually due to swelling and fluid shifts. they almost always go a way on their own. work closely with your planstic surgeon. I wouldnt consider any revisions until at least 3 -6 months after surgery.

best of luck

Swelling or something gone wrong after facelift surgery?

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Hello and thank you for sharing your pictures with your question.

I do see what concerns you.  I do not know why it is present in that I do not know what type of facelift or what other procedures may have been done with the facelift.

Twenty days is not enough time to heal no matter if there is a problem or not.  Waiting about six months would give you and your doctor enough time to decide if the result is good or not.

My best advice is to discuss your issues with your surgeon and see that person as often as you need to help you understand how you are healing.  If you are not satisfied with their answers or care, you can always seek opinions from experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons in your area or even in the Phoenix area.

Good luck to you.

Dr Spies

Robert J. Spies, MD
Paradise Valley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Swelling post facelift surgery

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It is too soon to determine the final out come of your surgery. Swelling may take up to three months to subside. You need to follow up with your surgeon and be patient. Good luck with healing

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 224 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.