I Am 5 Weeks Post Face/neck Lift and As the Swelling is Receding, These Lines Are Becoming Deeper? (photo)

Do you know what the lines are from and will they eventually smooth out by themselves? I have started having lymphatic massage to help with the residual swelling and bruising. I also have an indentation in front of my ear. The other side is similar but not as extreme.

Doctor Answers 15

Lines on the face after a facelift

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I'm sorry to see that you are bothered by lines after your facelift procedure. This could either be due to the tightening sutures under the skin (in which case things may smooth and soften significantly with time, massage, and possibly steroid injections). It could also be as a result of the direction of pull on the skin or the length of the incisions (an incision that is too short can lead to bunching or pleating). If that is the case, then a revision surgery will likely be needed. It is best to wait several months before any revision is performed since things may resolve on their own and because it is generally safer to operate on tissues when they are completely healed. I would consider a second opinion if your doctor does not seem very confident about a treatment plan.

Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Indentation after facelift.

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In most cases these sorts of depressions even out over time.  It has to do with the elevation of the skin and the deeper layers.  My only concern about the lymphatic drainage is that if the massage is too hard that it may loosen the reconstruction and cause the tissues to sag.  Be careful.

Stuart H. Bentkover, MD
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon

Lines on the face after facelift surgery

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The skin has not draped properly over the undelrying tissue (muscle, fibrous tissue, etc).  It is hard to know why without being privy to the details of your procedure.  They may resolve on their own with massage, steroid injections, ultrasound, "tincture of time", etc. or they may need more active intervention such as redraping of the skin flap.  Go back to see you surgeon who should be a board certified facial plastic or general plastic surgeon.

Andrew B. Denton, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

This is not so nice facial pleating.

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Please note that "board certified plastic surgeons" are not the only specialists who can help you.   Facial plastic surgeons also offer facial cosmetic surgery that may actually be just as good or perhaps even better.   Also very well known plastic surgeons are out there promoting "purse string" facelifts.  This pleating needs the attention of your surgeon.  It does not appear to be a skin scar but deep collagen that has formed as the face heals may account for this type of bunching.  There are mechanical treatments that can help this.  In many cases this type of pleating may resolve on its own.  The time frame since your surgery will be the tightest for new collagen.  However, do not wait until your scheduled follow up.  Call the surgeon now and get in to be seen.  He or she should be able to get you reorganized.  Please consider reposting here and let us know how things went.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Skin Redraping After Facelift

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Based on the photo shown, the lines and pleating are related to an exaggerated superior vector which has displaced relatively horizontal upper neck lines into a more vertical position.  This can be seen with a purse string suture lift (aka Quicklift or MACS lift) or a SMAS lift with over emphasis on the lower SMAS and no elevation or pull on the higher SMAS.  5 weeks after a Facelift, some degree of swelling remains and these lines should improve.  For now, I recommend staying in close contact with your Surgeon.  A second opinion (from a  Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon) at 5 weeks is likely to give you the the same information that most of the posts have already provided.  Revision surgery for facelift is best held off for at least 12 months.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews


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The skin rolls may be due to a few reasons. At this time, I would discuss this with your surgeon and stay away from unprofessional commentaries on the web. A healing time of several months is expected Thomas Narsete, M.D. 

Facelift - deep lines after surgery

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I think you need to revisit your doctor.  Check his or her credentials and look for main providers such as board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeons.  This will likely settle however it is a bit concerning.  Best wishes!!

Lines after facelift

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This has happened because the skin was not redraped appropriately after the facelift. I recommend massaging the area for 5 minutes 3 to 5 times a day. Apply some lotion on your hands to avoid irritating the skin, This should improve over the next month or so.

Andres Bustillo, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Wrinkle irregularities after a facelift

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Sorry to hear about your concerns.  It is always difficult to come in to the middle of a process without knowing the initial history.  Was there a bruise or small hematoma under this area? It almost appears like a resolving hematoma that is pulling the skin in.  At this time, I would advise to make sure you are in touch with your plastic surgeon frequently.  Massaging the area will help resolve the lump, but not the irregularities. I suspect you will need re-elevation of the are and re-draping of the skin once the swelling subsides and the tissues soften. Hang in there!

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tension lines in the cheeks 5 weeks after facelift surgery it concerning

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At the 5 week mark, I would expect the creasing and tension lines we sometimes see very early after facelift surgery to have faded and smoothed considerably. I think your PS should weigh in about what he/she thinks is going on. Consideration for a revision should be made at around the 4-6 month post-op mark if these dramatic tension lines persist.

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.