Ask a doctor

Numbness of Top Lip/Nose Shaving?

Hi doctors, 11 days ago I had a rhinoplasty and chin implant procedure performed. The surgeon shaved the sides of my nose to make it thinner with the shaving done through the mouth. Now my top lip is numb and it looks really weird to smile or even open my mouth. do you know how long this feeling usually lasts? and is it common to to shave down the sides of the nose through the mouth?

Doctor Answers 5

Numbness after rhinoplasty

In general, almost all noses are numb right after a rhinoplasty. In most cases its the tip that is numb, but this numbness can extend down to the upper lip, and in rare cases some of the teeth. There are nerves that are cut and stretched during a rhinoplasty, and it takes a long time for those nerves to start working again. This is true of an open as well as closed rhinoplasty, although it tends to be more extensive in open rhinoplasty. This could also be more extensive if a septoplasty is performed at the same time. This, along with the swelling, gives you a stiff, plastic type feel, and can give you an odd smile. However, the nerves will start working and again, and your nose stiffness will go away with time. As the nerves grow back, you may feel some tingling, itchiness and on occasion pain. This takes in most cases months, but can take years in rare cases. Extremely rarely, the numbness is permanent, although I have never seen such as case.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

8900 Raintree
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Numbness After Surgery

Because you are so early on in the healing process after both procedures, I'd give it at least 3-4 weeks until you should absolutely seek attention from your surgeon. Seeing symtoms like this are fairly common with the approach that you described.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

9401 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Numbness of Lip after Rhinoplasty

   Lip numbness after rhinoplasty is not common when performed through the nose.  However, an intraoral approach could produce this, and most of these instances resolve over several months.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 336 reviews

435 North Roxbury Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Nasal numbness

Rhinoplasty in general from swelling and soft tissue undermining can cause numbness. This usually gets better with time. Some doctors use  intra-oral incisions for parts of the procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

1049 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10028

Numbness and Altered Smile Normal After Some Forms of Rhinoplasty

Thank you for your question.  Rhinoplasty surgery can independently affect the sensation of the tip of the nose and upper lip due to the dissection.  This take months to resolve, but it invariably does.   An intraoral approach to the muscles or bones of the nose and face can also cause numbness, swelling and alteration of the upper lip movement.  This also typically gets better within months of surgery.   I would recommend discussing your concerns with your surgeon further and giving yourself time to heal.  Best wishes!

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

6499 E. Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43213

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.