Ask a doctor

Could Health Problems Have Been Caused by Facelift Trauma?

A few years ago, my mom had a face/brow lift that caused bruising and swelling for months , and - about a week after surgery - her cheekbone implants slid down into her jaw, and she had to have them removed. A year later, she developed burning eyes and mouth, facial pain with temperature changes, and tinnitus. Doctors have suggested it might be Sjogrens, though her autoantibody tests are negative and her eyes and mouth aren't clinically dry. Could her problems have been caused by the surgery?

Doctor Answers 16

Health Problems Caused by Facelift?

What you are describing is very unlikely to be all due to the surgery.  

Some  pain, burning, or numbness - perhaps yes

Burning eyes and mouth, fever, tinnitus - very unlikely

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 172 reviews

1110 112th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004


This in my opinion is unlikely caused by surgery. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

360 Rose Ave
Danville, CA 94526

Facelift - Health Problems Caused by Facelift?

I'm obviously very sorry for what your mother's gone through, and is going through, but I think it's very unlikely that her problems are related to the surgery.  A facelift is a fairly straight-forward procedure in that it doesn't introduce any foreign bodies of any kind, etc., so even in the rare case that an auto-immune condition were diagnosed (which it hasn't been), one couldn't even ascribe it to that.  So while it's disconcerting and the timing is suggestive - that's all it is, and she should be worked up completely (I assume she is) by specialists from different fields.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E


Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

122 East 64th Street
New York, NY 10065

Ongoing symptoms after face surgery adventure.

We all hope (patients and doctors) for an eventless post-operative course after surgery.  But what we hope will be an event (surgery) often turns into a process instead.  Like any process, it takes more than one simple step and one simple answer.  A specialist can evaluate her and probably come up with a differential diagnosis.  That's a list of all the  things it could be, and then you can help the doctor eliminate the wrong diagnoses until you get an answer.  Don't give up.

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

465 North Roxbury Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Symptoms after facelift

First of all, I'm sorry your mother went though all the complications she did.  I think it's unlikely your health problems, especially the tinnitus and burning.  I would recommend seeing an internal medicine doctor and perhaps a neurologist for a full evaluation.

Dr. Cat Begovic M.D.

Catherine Huang-Begovic, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

9735 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Face Lift, Mini Face Lift, The Palmer Celebrity Face Lift, Beverly Hills Face Lift

It seems unlikely that the Face Lift and Cheek Implants caused these general health issues.  Movement of the Cheek Implants was directly related to having them put in but other than that, I wouldn't think so.  Internal medicine work up would seem warranted.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

8500 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Symptom likely unrelated to previous facelift surgery

The symptoms your describe are quite complex.  It is unlikely they were caused by prior facial surgery over one year ago.  I would recommend a formal evaluation starting with your primary care physician to rule out other medical etiologies of these problems in addition to visiting with your plastic surgeon.  Best of luck.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

6400 Fannin
Houston, TX 77030

Face Lift vs.Health Problems Lifting Facial vs. Problemas de salud

Is important a medical work-up for this problem ,since the surgery was a year ago.I think that no relation exist between the face lift and the health problems of your mother. Es importante una evaluación médica de este problema, ya que la cirugía fue hace un año.Yo pienso que no existe relación entre el face lift y los problemas de salud de su madre.

Enrique Pedro Gagliardi, MD, PhD
Argentina Plastic Surgeon

Uruguay 1061

Pain after a facelift

Your mother has a very complicated story.  I would recommend a pain specialist for further evaluation.  There are no easy answers in a situation like this.


Tal Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Champaign Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

1405 W Park Street
Urbana, IL 61801

Symptoms one year after Facelift

I agree with the other surgeons here that it is highly unlikely that the facelift surgery is related to the current symptoms your mother is experiencing. The cheek implant surgery however was a complication related to her facelift. I do a lot of Facelift surgery on patients with cheek implants and you must take them into consideration in your surgical planning. I hope your mother feels better in the near future and gets the proper medical attention she needs. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 169 reviews

360 San Miguel Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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.