Does Perioral Mound Liposuction Makes Your Face Feel Stiff And Swollen?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had perioral mound liposuction and buccal lipectomies a fews days ago to thin out my face. I have some questions about the facial swelling that I now see.

1) I’ve read there can be persistent fluid accumulation that could need to be aspirated…how do I know if I have this problem or just normal swelling?

2) Would wearing a compression garment facilitate faster resolution of swelling?

3) I’ve read massaging the liposuctioned areas can help resolve swelling…would you advise this or is it a better idea to just leave it alone and let it heal on its own?

4) The perioral region is much more swollen, stiff and numb than my cheeks. Is this normal? When I touch the area it feels hard under my skin. What is this? Swelling? Scar tissue? If scar tissue, how long will it take to shrink down?

A: What you are experiencing after facial buccal lipectomies and perioral mound liposuction is normal early after the procedures. But to answer your specific questions:

1) There is no fluid accumulation that will develop under the skin in facial liposuction. That is a phenomenon that is unique to body liposuction where large volumes are fluid are initially instilled (tumescent infiltration) to facilitate the procedure. Facial liposuction does not use this technique.

2) A compression garment will not facilitate the resolution of the swelling nor is it really practical to wear.

3) Digital massage (aka lymphatic therapy) can be beneficial for swelling resolution since it stimulates the lymphatic channels to open up by the pumping effect on the vessels.

4) The perioral region is stiffer and even more swollen than the cheeks because it is in a lower dependent position (gravity) and even the cheek swelling drifts down to that area. That is why the perioral tissues are so stiff.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana