10 Months Post-op Facelift. Unable to Involuntarily Blink Right Eye.

This is a follow-up of my previous question here.

video of right eye blinking.first 2 voluntary. last one involuntary

Doctor Answers 9

Facial weakness after face lift

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Sorry for your troubles Linda.  

You will be surprised to find that this (though slowly) will continue to improve.  I can't give you an exact time line but if you've had improvement thus far it should continue.  There's not much to do at the moment except ensure your eye is well cared for and protected at night.  I would be a good idea to get an evaluation with an ophthalmologist for your eye alone.  This is to have a baseline evaluation in the event there is an issue with eye irritation in the future.   This doctor does not have to be an oculoplastic surgeon.  

Keep regular visits with your original surgeon.  Make videos/take photos of your blink once a month and track your progress.

Hope that helps.

Chase Lay, MD

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Weak/absent blinking after facelift

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You do appear to have symptoms of facial nerve injury on your right side, either due to the surgery or possibly unrelated (viral, Bell's palsy, etc).

Some ongoing recovery is expected over time. As the previous surgeon mentioned, professional eye care is extremely important to prevent eye infection due to incomplete blinking causing dryness of the cornea.

When your recovery plateaus, if need be, a small gold weight can be implanted into the right eyelid to allow much more normal involuntary blinking. In the meantime, a small amount of injectable filler performed by an experienced surgeon can simulate the same effect, allowing a 1 minute office procedure to give you complete eye closure while your condition finished healing. If there is still weakness, then the filler can be dissolved and a gold weight placed. If the weakness resolves 100%, simply dissolving the filler will do.

Laxmeesh Mike Nayak, MD
Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Unable to blink after facelift

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Sorry to hear you are having a problem.  It sounds as though you have an injury to one of the nerves in the face that connect to the facial muscles.  With that type of injury the muscle involved is either weak or it does not work at all.  Some recovery id good and as long as there is recovery I would wait also.  Inability to blink, however, could lead to problems with exposure of the cornea.  It is a good idea to use drops during the day and a nighttime preparation which lasts longer.  I think you should see an ophthalmologist to make sure your eye is ok and to offer any additional help with regard to exposure of the cornea.  You should also be in close contact with you surgeon.

Thank you for your question.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Corneal Lubrication and Blinking Problems 10 Months after Facelift

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    Blinking problems 10 months after facelift should be evaluated formally, and lubrication is critical.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

R facial weakness after a lift

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It appears that you have right sided facial weakness and synkinesis.  These types of nerve injury can be caused by a number of conditions as well as possibly the result of a face lift

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

10 Months Post-op Facelift. Unable to Involuntarily Blink Right Eye.

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What you are seeing can be due to a nerve injury during the facelift, if that is the case it can take up to one year to resolve. It can also be, but less likely, a Bell’s Palsy type of nerve irritation which is usually a viral cause, that can persist for long periods of time and might never get better.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews


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I'm sorry to hear about your experience.  If your ability to blink is improving, it would be advisable to watch and wait.  However, it will be important that you use eye lubricant such as lacrilube to keep the eye moist as well as to tape the eye closed shut at night to prevent development of any eye problems.  It is possible that this will resolve with time.  Please keep close follow up with your surgeon.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Involuntary Blink Right Eye 10 Months Post Facelift

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The key for me is the fact that you continue to improve while using conservative measures to avoid complications secondary to eyelid dysfunction. As long as you are improving, I would not do anything different. Hopefully function will return to normal after your facial nerve paresis resolves.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

At 10 months after surgery, recovery of this weakness is improbable.

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I recommend that you get assessed by an oculoplastic surgeon.  This is a subspecialty plastic surgeon who is board certified in general ophthalmology and has completed fellowship training in oculofacial surgery.  They have the training, skill, experience, and equipment to formally examine the cornea surface and determine how the lack of eyelid function is affecting the corneal surface.  They will also be able to monitor the success of measures aimed at supporting the health of the cornea and your ocular comfort.  There are a number of measures available to address this issue.  However, it is often not realistic to expect that the motor function is going to return as it has been 10 months since your surgery.

The American Society for Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery maintains a geographic directory that will help you identify a highly qualified oculoplastic surgeon in your area (asoprs dot org).

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.