Hard Swollen Mass Under New Jawline 1 Month After Facelift/Necklift? (photo)

It's been a month since my facelift/necklift. There is a hard swollen mass that sits under the beautiful new jawline that I have had drained every time I visit the doctor. It fills up again in another day. Is this normal? I am told it is...but I'm getting worried.

This ropey long seroma is now getting softer and growing larger...is this a normal progression.

Doctor Answers 11

Repeat swelling after face/neck lift

Thank you for your question for sharing your concerns with us. Repeated accumulation of fluid under the jawline can be a persistent seroma, but can also be a salivary gland leak.  I would recommend that you continue to get this drained and possibly insert a small drain tube if needed.  Medications can also help decrease the amount of saliva production and may help while this resolves.  I would make sure that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon during this period of time.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Repeat Fluid Collection after Facelift

   While seroma can recur, drainage and compression usually cause resolution after one or two aspirations.  If there is concern for salivary output, close followup with Botox and antisialogogues may be considered.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Recurring seroma after facelift

If the seroma in the neck after your facelift keeps recurring, it just might be a fistula to the salivary gland. They do resolve with repeat drainage, so stay in touch with your surgeon.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Recurrent swelling post face lift

you may have a seroma (collection of serous fluid) or possibly a salivary gland leak.  Recurrent aspiration of a seroma should hopefully lead to its resolution.  The use of a compression dressing over this area may help as well if possible.  If you have a salivary gland leak, the uses of some medications like those used by the anesthesiologists that help reduce saliva production may be of benefit.  You should discuss the options with your surgeon or seek a second opinion from another board certified plastic surgeon for reassurance.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Jawline Fluid Collection After Facelift

Depending upon the location at the jawline, it may be a seroma or a salivary gland leak. If it is at the jaw angle area near or under the ear, it may be a parotid gland leak. If it is in front of the ear along the jawline closer to the mouth, then it is undoubtably a seroma. The fluid can be tested to answer that question definitely but it is probably not needed based on its location. A seroma will eventually resolve itself with repeated aspirations as needed. A parotid gland leak usually will also but may require other methods, occasionally surgical, to make it stop. 

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Swelling after facelift

It sounds like you either have a seroma, which should go away after time, or a salivary leak, which may not.  Ask your surgeon to test the fluid to determine what it is as this may aid in determining the treatment to resolve things faster.

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews


According to your description and timing, I would say this is most likely a seroma.  Seromas occur when the skin is dissected away from the underlying soft tissue creating a 'dead space'.  The treatment is to monitor for infection, drain, and compress the area.  The goal is to have the skin adhere to the soft tissue.  It is not uncommon for a seroma to be drained multiple times before this happens.

James H. Rosing, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Seroma after facelift

What you are describing sounds like a seroma. The area may need to be opened a bit wider and then drained. Continue to followup diligently with your plastic surgeon.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Swollen mass beneath jawline after facelift

It is probably a little seroma but if it keeps returning I would start to think that it might be a salivary fistula. Keep up with your surgeon and I'm sure you will be fine.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews


You probably have a seroma or salivary fistula.  Both conditions resolve over time.  The salivary fistula can take weeks sometimes.  Your doctor may prescribe Robinul, which dries up your saliva temporarily.  It is frustrating, but I have never seen a case that has not resolved with time.  Good luck.

Jeffrey Marvel, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 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.