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Is TMJ a Contraindication for SMAS Facelift?

I would like a face lift, mainly for jowls but I also to correct other problems. I have an old fracture to the zygomatic arch on one side resulting in some inflammation/small indentation. I have been evaluated for this by an oral surgeon recently who said it would be a major surgery now and inadvisable. Good functioning. I also have TMJ w/some occ. swelling and problems with the position of the discs, fairly well controlled through exercises I learned in physical therapy. Is this contraindicat?

Doctor Answers (19)

TMJ Syndrome OK with Most Facelifts

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TMJ and SMAS lift
The SMAS lift repositions the underlying fat and to some degree the fine muscles beneath it to a more youthful position but does not result in tighter facial muscles. A  SMAS facelift should not  cause additional complications  your TMJ problems when properly done.  I would consult with your  TMJ specialist to be sure.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

TMJ and SMAS Facelift

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Having TMJ symptoms, especially those that are well controlled, are not a contraindication to having a SMAS facelift.  You could address the indentation on your zygomatic arch at the same time by injection of fillers or a brow lift incision could be used to approach and fix the indentation at the level of the bone.  

Michael Sundine, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

TMJ is not a Contraindication for a SMAS facelift

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It sounds like you have a few issues.  I am happy that you have reasonable control of your TMJ symptoms.  The facelift should not effect that.  I would wait a little while before resuming aggresssive PT for your TMJ.  The contour irregularity can also be evaluated by your surgeon and see what he/she may suggest. 

Jeffrey Roth, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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TMJ disorder not a contra-indication to facelift surgery

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Facelift surgery involves the tissues more superficial than the jaw joint so your TMJ disorder isn't a contra-indication to surgery. Facelift surgery wouldn't be expected to improve the cheek indentation you mentioned, though you may want to discuss filler options for this area such as fat grafting or injectible filler.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
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TMJ and a facelift may be possible

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As long as your TMJ is stable, you should probably be okay.  However, the TMJ may worsen after the facelift because of the pulling of the skin.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

TMJ and facelift surgery

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Your TMJ is not a contra-indication to facelift surgery with a SMAS technique.  The joint function, alignment or motion should not be altered by the procedure.

Best of luck!

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Facelift should be fine

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Hi 6041,

Having a facelift should be just fine in your case.  The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is not affected in the least by a facelift.  The only potential problem could be that if you have a general anesthetic, you may have an exacerbation of your joint discomfort due to the intubation.  However, this is EXTREMELY rare and I doubt it would be an issue for you.

Good luck!

P. Daniel Ward, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Facelift and TMJ

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TMJ problems are not a contraindication to any facial rejuvenation surgery. Given that you have a small indentation of the skin, you may be a better candidate for fat transfer with/without a facelift. I would certainly speak with your surgeon about these options.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

TMJ and SMAS facelift

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TMJ is specifically issues with the join that allow the mandible to articulate.  A SMAS facelift is unrelated to that area and should not impact your TMJ.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

SMAS facelift and TMJ

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There is no relationship with TMJ and facelift surgery.  No facelift procedure will affect any of the bony jaw issues that you may be experiencing.   Wait a few weeks after your facelift to result your jaw/TMJ exercises.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 115 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.