12 Weeks After my Face Lift and Rigth Eyebrow/ Forehead is Still Paralyzed, Will this be Permanent?

The doctor that performed the face lift is very capable and has a very good reputation, so i keep trying to convince myself that the nerve was not cut, but just damaged. The concern is that 12 weeks had passed after the surgery and the eyebrow is still totally paralyzed. If nerve was severed, and doesn’t regenerate, is there a surgery to fix it? I don't want to do Botox on the other side and make both eyes look the same because it looks droopy. Thank you very much

Doctor Answers 10

Nerve damage after face lift

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It is difficult to say if your nerve will return. I have seen this branch of the facial nerve, on occasion, be very very slow to return. In 23 years, I have seen 3 patients take 6 months to return. I actually have never seen one not return, although it certainly can happen. 

I wish you the best and I sincerely believe there is room for hope. If you still have no movement at the 6 month period, then unfortunately you may have a permanent problem that is difficult, if not impossible to totally correct. 

I wish you the best. 

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

There may be a nerve damage

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You should start to see improvements if the nerve is intact. If the nerve is cut, you need exploration and attempt to repair the damaged nerve( very hard but possible). Your surgeon would  know where to explore. 

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Eye brow change after face lift

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Thank you for your question after your face lift caused one eyebrow to droop.

  • This is from swelling around or damage to a tiny nerve (frontalis branch of the facial nerve). It travels just below tissue at the side of the eye and lower forehead. 
  • It can be bruised after a face lift. Give it 3 more months to improve.
  • If it does not improve, repair can be attempted but results are often disappointing.
  • Botox plus a lateral brow lift may work better - but for now, just wait.
  • Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Nerve weakness after lift

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The condition you are describing is from damage to the frontal branch of the facial nerve that gives the signal to your forehead muscle to lift your eyebrow.  Be patient, since any of these injuries improve with time and can take up to 6 months.  Botox to the normal side may help with asymmetry until function returns on the affected side.

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

Facelift complication

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Thank you for the question. It is possible to bruise the nerves of the face during a facelift. It sounds like your frontal (temporal) branch was either bruised or cut. Mimetic function may return. Exploration is not indicated.

Facelift - 12 Weeks After Face Lift; Right Eyebrow/ Forehead Still Paralyzed

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I'm obviously very sorry to hear this.

It is not unheard to have weakness of muscle areas for several weeks to months after surgery such as this (ie, a facelift).  Fortunately, most have a functional return on their own.  This process often takes several weeks to months, and can easily take from 3-6 months.  Beyond that, though, the likelihood of full return diminishes, though there are reports of it taking up to a year.

It is difficult to correct a "permanent" loss.  If recognized clearly and early, a direct repair is the most appropriate course.  If not, a nerve graft may be required, and this increases the complexity of the surgery required and decreases the expectation of success, since the nerve then has to grow across two connections.

You should ask your surgeon to help you obtain a referral to someone who can try to asses the status of the nerve (neurologist, have an MRI, etc) and then try to make a decision on the best course to take at this time.

Again, I'm sorry...and I hope that it has resolved on its own by now,

Dr. E

Damaged nerve after a facelift

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Dear patient, it may take up to one year for your nerve to recover and for movement to come back. If the problem does persist, you may be a candidate for a brow lift. Botox may also help but it is best you consult a professinoal. Best of luck. 




Teanoosh Zadeh, MD, FRCSC
Montreal Plastic Surgeon

Paralysis of Eyebrow/Forehead 12 Weeks Post Facelift

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In the medical literature there are reports of nerve recovery up to 1 year after nerve injury. I suggest you have a consultation with a neurologist. Your surgeon is the best person to answer your question because he/she knows the exact technique and the level of dissection used in your surgery. Unfortunately, little can be done at this time. 

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

12 Weeks After my Face Lift and Rigth Eyebrow/ Forehead is Still Paralyzed, Will this be Permanent?

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 I have performed Face Lifts for over 20 years and I'm so sorry to hear this.  You should speak with the plastic an cosmetic surgeon that did your Face Lift because you may need a referral to an opthalmic doctor to check for dry eye and corneal ulcerations.  The temoral branch, of the facial nerve, if damaged regenerates at 1mm per day, so technically it could still come back for up to 1 year however, the chances are quoted in the litearture (I believe) at 10%.  There are no surgeries to re-attach the cut nerve but a neurologist may be able to recommend stimulation exercises for the nerve if damaged.  Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Nerves regenerate slowly after a facelift

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Nerve injuries after facelifts take at least 9-12 months to regenerate, be patient while the nerves are trying to repair themselves.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 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.