How Long Does It Take For Cheek Bone Reduction Swelling to Go Away?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I came across your website and am very impressed with your blogs on cheek bone reduction and jawlione shaving surgery. I underwent zygoma and jaw shaving both a month ago and am very worried regarding my decision. I have some questions to ask you, which I hope you can help me.

1) Is facial sagging more common with my surgeries of both zygoma shaving and jaw shaving? Two years previously, I had buccal fat removal and facial liposuction. I am worried that this increased my chances of facial sagging?

2) The right side of my mouth is harder and more painful to open. Is this normal for slightly over one month post-op?

3) My facial swelling changes daily. Some days are more swollen and chubbier than other days. Is this normal?

4) Is zygoma and jaw shaving supposed to give a narrower face? A friend of mine is post op three months and she is chubby at the bottom cheeks. I have heard many stories of young girls having chubby bottom cheeks. Will it go away?

5) I have read that it takes 2 to 3 weeks for majority of the swelling to subside, I still feel I have a large amount of swelling. When would you say the majority of swelling will subside?

6) My doctor says that nothing can be fixed in the following months if facial sagging occurs on the cheeks, is this true?

A: In answer to your questions about cheek bone reduction and jawline shaving:

1) Soft tissue sagging is a more common problem with cheek bone reduction, not so much for jawline shaving. Having had a previous buccal lipectomy and facial liposuction did not increase your risk of soft tissue sagging with these procedures.

2) It would be perfectly normal to have stiffness and soreness of mouth opening and stiffness at the is early point after surgery. Expect full recovery to take 3 months.

3) Facial swelling is very cyclical after surgery due to positional changes of the face and resolving lymphedema.

4) You should not judge the final results from any facial bone surgery until a minimum of 3 and preferably 6 months after surgery. She may be chubby due to swelling and resolving lymphedema or may also perceptual enhanced lower facial fullness due to the now more narrow midface.

5) A few weeks after surgery is way too premature to expect most of the facial swelling to have gone away.

6) You need to wait 6 months to both judge the results and before embarking on any corrective procedures.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana