I had Lifestyle Lift done 9 months ago, and now I'm feeling severe pain in the ear and around the ear area. Is this nerve damage? What can be done about it? Never had this before the procedure, so I'm wondering what happened during the procedure to cause this. Thank you.
Does This Pain After Lifestyle Lift Suggest Nerve Damage?
Doctor Answers (4)
If the pain is new, check it out
If the pain is new in the recent past, even though you had the surgery 9 months ago, then it could be scarring from the surgery or some other less desirable cause. Either way, go back and see your surgeon.
By the way, I have no love lost for the Lifestyle lift. I feel that it is a relic of a procedure, dusted off to line the pockets of an unscrupulous businessman.
Pain after Lifestyle Lift: Botox can help
The pain you are describing may represent entrapment of or a granuloma involving the greater auricular nerve. This nerve provides sensation to the lower half of the ear and can become entrapped by suture or by the the scarring process that occurs after a procedure.
Injection of Botox into the area of the nerve can provide a degree of improvement or break the cycle of pain. I have seen relief in a number of patients who have described prolonged postoperative pain. The effect typically lasts about 3 months in most patients.
New ear pain after Lifestyle Lift
It is unusual that you developed this 9 months after the surgery. Only the surgeon will know the techniques that may be responsible for your symptoms and it is best to seek their advice.
Having said that the rest of this is speculation. In my opinion there may be several causes.
1) referred pain: the pain may be originating in another area but is being "referred" to your ear due to the rearranging of skin and nerves. This is like phantom limb pain. Desensitization therapy may help to ease the discomfort.
2) the other possibility is that permanent sutures such as the contour threads may have been used which are now irritating a nerve which travels to the ear. Some of these "threads" have barbs and some can migrate or move which can then irritate nerves after a period of time. In any case you may need to remove the stitch min order to get relief.
3) another potential cause is thst when minor nerves are cut (this happens all the time during surgery) they grow back and form little sensitive clumps called neuromas which are painful and easily excitable. You can often find these by tapping along the operated area until you find one spot that causes a pins & needles or electrical sensation. Usually it is a very specific site.
I hope this helps.
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Pain can be resolved
Lifestyle Lift, mini-facelift surgery, generally speaking is associated with some discomfort postoperative that lasts several days. There are instances where individuals will have discomfort lasting more than 7 to 10 days. Less than 1% of individuals after any facelift surgery will have discomfort lasting longer than a month. The underlying reason for discomfort is actually unknown. Theoretically many physicians feel it is related to continued healing in the area. There is an important nerve right around the surgical site that is responsible for sensation to the ear area and this great auricular nerve can be sometimes pinched, causing some prolonged discomfort. But generally speaking this does not last longer than six months to a year. There are a number of maneuvers that can help with diminishing the discomfort in this area, including injections, including massage and including inspection of the area to make sure there is nothing unusual occurring where this specific area of discomfort resides. Oral medication also sometimes can help with discomfort. Nonetheless, the most important thing to look at is an ongoing assistance from an expert doctor who has dealt with this kind of problem before because generally speaking this can be resolved with limited effort.
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.