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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

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    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 193 reviews

Relief of tightness after a facelift

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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
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Post Facelift Relief

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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 5 reviews

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Tightness after facelift

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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 18 reviews

Tightness Following Facelift

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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
Dubai Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Tightness after a facelift.

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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 29 reviews

Tightness after facelift

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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 8 reviews

The Sensory Alteration Can be Permanent.

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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
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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.