One side of face is more swollen after facelift

One side of face is more swollen after facelift: Complete Guideline

Aging inevitably robs one of their youthful glow. It can result in drooping skin and the creation of unattractive symptoms of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. Factors like heredity, stress, and sun exposure all impact the pace of aging. Because the face is such an essential component of one’s identity, it’s no surprise that cosmetic operations like rhytidectomy and facelifts have become widely available. 

Even in the hands of a skilled physician, each surgery entails some level of danger. The likelihood of complications or hazards exists. Therefore, there is always the possibility that some difficulties may arise after surgery. One of the most common complications is one side of face is more swollen after facelift. Here we will know all about this complication and what you can do.

One side of face is more swollen after facelift: Recovery Timeline.

Every surgery, no matter how little, causes swelling of the surrounding tissues. The amount can vary from each person. But, it always seems more in the face due to 

  • the looseness of the tissues 
  • since even a tiny amount distorts the features. 

Do not be concerned if one side of face is more swollen after facelift. This is common and goes away after a few weeks.

The swelling that is expected is proportional to the procedure. Swelling around the eyes, cheeks, and face, as well as down into the neck and chest, is typical. This is the typical reaction of the body to surgery and eventually repair. 

  • The swelling will begin the day of surgery and will not peak until 2-3 days after surgery.
  •  After the third day, the swelling will subside.

 Because of the swelling, the skin on the face may feel tight for a while. It may feel like it’s interfering with your grin at first, but this will fade after a few weeks. Read this to know more about persistent swelling 4 weeks after facelift.

Common causes: one side of face is more swollen after facelift

Swelling is typical following surgery. It is the body’s reaction to the trauma induced by the facelift. It is caused by several mechanisms within the body:

  • During surgery, the anesthesia causes blood vessels to widen and discharge fluid into the surrounding tissues.
  • After surgery, new cells are delivered to the injured body part to mend it, generating inflammation. (This is part of the inflammatory phase of recovery, which lasts 72 hours following surgery.)
  • Surgery alters the lymphatic vessels so the affected tissue retains extra fluid.

Post-operative swelling, while expected, can first disguise the results of even the most precisely executed surgery. 

As a result, it is critical to remember that swelling varies from patient to patient. Some individuals hardly swell, while others develop noticeable post-operative swelling. But, most patients will note that specific portions of their face are more swollen, giving their face an uneven appearance.

Another common side effect: Discoloration

Skin darkening can occur as a result of swelling in some circumstances. Blood spreading beneath the tissues causes black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration. This is common in most people and may occur 2-3 days after surgery.

 Moist heat administered to the affected area may hasten the elimination of the discoloration. Bruising can advance from blue to purple to yellow as it heals.

  • Bruising is uncommon in younger people and appears as a faint yellow discoloration. 
  • Bruising can be severe in older people, particularly the elderly, and appears as black and blue discoloration. This can involve the eyes, face and cheeks, neck, and even the upper half of the chest in some cases. This kind of bruising might take up to two weeks to heal. 

Facelift Surgery Post-operative Instructions For Swelling

The swelling may become more noticeable along the jawline and is often worse in the morning. The swelling is not dangerous and does not indicate that something is wrong with your surgery. 

Your face and neck will be swollen for several days with variable degrees of discoloration. The most important thing to know is that such swelling will ultimately go away. However, you may aid in a variety of ways:

  1. Apply ice to your face and neck

Place the crushed ice in zip-lock bags. Wrap the ice pack in a small cloth and lay it over the surgical incisions. Do this as much as you can for the first three days after surgery. After 72 hours, either ice or heat may be used. 

  1. Avoid lifting heavy things or bending over for atleast 1 week

Aside from exacerbating swelling, this may raise blood pressure and initiate bleeding.

  1. Avoid hitting or bumping your head, neck and face.

It is best not to pick up tiny children and to sleep alone for one week following your operation.

  1. Sleep with your head elevated.

Do this for the first 1-2 weeks after your surgery. Place two or three pillows under the head of the mattress and one or two on top of it to achieve this. 

  1. Sleep on your back.

Try not to sleep on your side for two weeks. As this tends to break down the supporting stitches utilized under your skin. A reclining chair at a 45-degree tilt may be more comfortable for certain people.

  1. Wear Compression garment.

Support the swollen tissues using a compression garment

Use it constantly until 

  • one week has passed after the date of your surgery
  • then, use it during sleep until two weeks have passed since your surgery. 
  • During the first 30 days, wearing it during the day when you are alone is ideal.
  1. Avoid extreme sun exposure of face for one month.

Average exposure is not dangerous.

  1. Apply thin layer of vaseline.

If you have laser resurfacing or a chemical peel simultaneously, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the treated skin for the first 5-6 days.

General Information For Facelift Surgery


Numbness of the skin around the surgery site is typical and not cause for concern. As noted before surgery, this is usually temporary, but in some instances, it can be permanent. It usually takes several months for full feeling to recover. 

Slight fever

A slight temperature rise immediately after surgery is not uncommon. If the fever persists, consult your doctor.

Every person is different.

Your case is unique since no two persons are alike. Do not take well-meaning advice from friends. Discuss your concerns and questions with your consulting doctor.


If you regularly exercise, you should know your regular nutrient intake is reduced. Exercise may be a lot more demanding. You should rest for at least 14 days after engaging in strenuous physical exercise. 

When you begin exercising again, begin with a modest to moderate workout. Progressively increase your schedule over many sessions. If you become dizzy while exercising, stop.

Wear loose clothing

For one week, you should wear loose clothing that fastens in the front or back rather than apparel that must be pulled over the head.

Avoid smoking

Do not smoke for at least two weeks after surgery because it dramatically slows healing and raises the chance of problems.

Moderate post-operative depression is common.

It is not unusual to experience moderate post-operative depression. Most patients are taken aback when they notice their face is bloated and possibly discolored. 

Be realistic and understand that this transitory situation will pass quickly. The best treatment is to:

  • keep oneself occupied with post-operative care details
  • redirect one’s attention to other concerns.

Relax and rest while your face heals.


Because post-surgical swelling is not symmetrical if one side of face is more swollen after facelift does not always indicate that the surgery was a failure. It simply means that your plastic surgeon must apply greater force to certain moves than others. 

Keep in mind that the swelling will subside in a few weeks. It is strongly recommended that you visit your doctor if you experience persistent swelling because it could be a sign of an infection or another illness.

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