Surgery Leading to Possible Nerve Damage of the Forehead/upper Eye Brow. Should I Be Concerned?

I am most likely getting a procedure to fix my post fractured zygoma. The surgery would consist of removing bone from the zygomatic arch area. The surgeon, who i have credited to be skillful in this procedure, told me the possibility of facial nerve damage causing me to not raise my eyebrow. My follow up isn't for a few weeks and i'd like to know now if the nerve is under or above the arch, its possibility of it being damage and if it is damaged what i could i expect and do about it?

Doctor Answers (1)

Surgery Leading to Possible Nerve Damage of the Forehead/upper Eye Brow. Should I Be Concerned?

+2

Damage to the nerve that moves the eyebrow IS a risk of surgery around the temple or cheekbone. However, the risk is small. The nerve runs on the outside of the bone. It is several layers of tissue above the bone but in that area all of the tissue layers are thin and cannot be safely separated. There are two safe planes for a surgeon to work in that area:

  1. Either right on the bone where your surgeon will be working
  2. Right beneath the skin

The nerve branch is very small and typically cannot be identified so it is simply avoided. If people have brow weakness or droop after surgery it is typically temporary due to stretching the nerve. This resolves within a couple of weeks to a few months. In the hands of an experienced surgeon, which it sounds like you've found, the risk of a permanent nerve injury is small. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS


Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

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