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What Are the Options for Relief of Tightness Around Ears 2.5 Months After Mini-facelift?

I had a mini-lower facelft 2.5 months ago and am still experiencing significant discomfort from constant pressure/tightness/pulling around both ears. (Lobes and skin about 1/4 inch around both ears are also still numb.) I know it may take 3-6 months for these uncomfortable sensations to subside. In the meantime, what do you suggest for relief? I can't take NSAIDs because of high blood pressure. I'm currently using a prescription topical steroid cream with minimal results. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Relief of Tightness 2.5 Months after Facelift

    This tightness at 2.5 months is dependent upon vector of skin pull and relative tightness as well as plication or resuspension sutures placed more deeply.  Your surgeon will have a better idea of how his techniques affect patients during recovery.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 337 reviews

435 North Roxbury Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Relief of tightness after a facelift

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a sensation of tightness to persist for several months following a facelift. Massage can help but it is usually just a matter of time. You may want to visit with a pain specialist for medication recommendations that may be effective. Make sure to be compliant with your surgeons post op instructions and follow up with him or her regarding the healing process.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

1501 Superior Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Post Facelift Relief

What you're experiencing is common. Aside from what others have mentioned, lymphatic massage may be helpful. It is also a good idea to check with your surgeon to make sure you're healing properly and that there is no infection associated with the discomfort.

Carlo Honrado, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

2080 Century Park East
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Tightness after facelift

The best treatment is time. Tightness is normal after any facelift and can take several months to gradually subside. At that point, gentle massage or stretching can help resolve lingering tightness.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

3252 Holiday Court
San Diego, CA 92037

Tightness Following Facelift

These sensations of tightness may take a few months to resolve. Topical steroid creams are not very effective. Regular massage of the tissues multiple times a day will help. An internist or neurologist could prescribe medications that may help reduce the discomfort.

The numbness may take many months to improve. Scar and tissue massage is the best course of action for then next few months.

Best of luck to you!

Ahmed Abdullah, MD
Fargo Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

3820 20th Street South
Fargo, North Dakota 58103

Tightness after a facelift.

What you are feeling can happen occasionally after a facelift. Gently massaging the tight areas or 'tapping' the areas with your finger tips a couple of times a day will help. You can expect this to improve over the next few months. 

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

30 Central Park South
New York, NY 10019

Tightness after facelift

I am sorry to hear about your discomfort. The numbness and tightness will take more time to resolve. However, if you cannot take NSAIDs, biofeedback may be of some help. There are also topical patchesw which can be prescribed by a neurologist and you may want to see such a specialist for guidance. Best of luck.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

112-03 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills, NY 11375

The Sensory Alteration Can be Permanent.

Alternatively, slow recovery that may be compete or partial can take 6 to 12 months. If the dysethesia is increasing, this may actually be a sign of recovery. If the sensation is intolerable, I recommend consulting your internist or a neurologist. Certain antisiezure medications can be used off label to reduce the unpleasant sensation. These drugs do have significant side effects, so they may or may not prove to be helpful.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

9001 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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.