E.Possible complications long and short term

Swelling of the face

Swelling is quite common and will go away between one week and one month after surgery.

It will depend on the following elements:

Bruising of the skin (Ecchymosis)


When blood migrates into the skin, the skin first turns blue after a day or two. Over a period of 10 days it further turns into green and finally yellow before disappearing completely. No ointments should be used to speed up this resorption of blood. They could only add a rash. Bruising in the face can take up to 2 weeks

Blood collections (Haematoma)


When even more blood accumulates between skin and muscles, this is called a haematoma. I is not uncommon.

The natural course is to convert to hard nodules -over a period of weeks- which sometimes can be felt, and bother the patient.

But they also disappear -very slowly- over the course of months.

Large blood collections in a matter of hours after surgery point to a bleeding vessel. It is very rare, but needs to be addressed immediately. The incision is reopened and the bleeding vessel identified and coagulated. The face is rinsed from blood clots. If done immediately after it develops, no untoward results occur. The incidence of this complication is less than 2%.

Death of Tissues

Mostly behind the ear (Necrosis )


The risk of not having enough blood supply to the tissues is proportional to the following elements :

patient is smoking a lot as a main reason
too much tension behind the ear
very thin skin in older patients

It may take several months before new skin as formed, very often as scar tissue. A secondary procedure is needed.


Primary infections of the face due to contamination of the tissues during surgery are extremely rare. I never saw one case. A secondary infection can of course occur after necrosis, because of inadequate antiseptical treatment of exposed tissues.

Hypertrophic and Keloidal scars

Lifting scars normally heal well except in darker skinned patients, where the risk for keloidal scar is always present. Here you can find the difference between hypertrophic and keloidal scars and their treatment.


A scar can get broader because of:


In a normal but broad scar, a surgical revision of the scar can be done after 6 months.




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