Eyelid and smile not working

Please help its 11 days post facelift and my left eyelid won't close and left side top lip won't smile. The eye is watering and sore I'm very anxious

Doctor Answers 21

Left Facial Hemiparesis Post Facelift

Your symptoms are suggestive of a left sided facial nerve injury which is involving at least two branches of your facial nerve.  The most critical factor right now is ocular protection and lubrication, which your Surgeon should be able to help you with.  You may want to see an Ophthalmologist at the same time to monitor the status of your cornea.  Statistically, this should improve to complete recovery, but without knowledge of the technique or circumstances involved, further commentary is not possible


Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Facial nerve not working 11 days after facelift

Dear Slink66-
I am sorry you are experiencing this issue. Unfortunately this can occur in about 1% of patients after facelift procedures.  In most cases these do recover, but it can take weeks/months.  In the meantime, it is important that you consult a physician regarding your eye.  It is very important that it be protected.  You may want to see an ophthalmologist as well.
Best,
Dr. Most

Sam Most, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Weak eyelid and smile 11 days post #Facelift in Australia: here is my #Toronto answer

Thank you for your question.

Deep plane type of facelift are powerful techniques and my preferred techniques here in Toronto but those techniques may occasionally have temporary weakness of the facial nerves; most resolve over a few weeks.  So 11 days post-op is still very early.

As for your eyes, please visit your plastic surgeon; it is important that the cornea be protected, especially at night, if the eye does not close properly.  Special eye drops, lubricants and patching might be indicated until the eye recovers.

Hope this helps!

Best regards,

Dr. Marc DuPere, Toronto Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon

Marc DuPere, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Nerve injury

The most concerning thing you mention is the soreness of your eye. you need to make certain that you're lubricating your eye to prevent it from drying out. Drying of the eye can cause ulcerations that can threaten your vision. Talk to your plastic surgeon about this as soon as possible, to talk about specific interventions to limit this complication. This may involve taping your eye, using lubricants, etc.
As others have mentioned, take solace in the fact that the vast majority of weaknesses after facelift resolve over weeks to months.
But, make certain you are following up with your plastic surgeon very closely to monitor your recovery, and have low threshold for referral to specialists such as ophthalmologists if it is warranted.
Good luck!
Dr. Subbio

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Will need some time

This will need eye lubricants to keep the eye moist since you are having trouble closing your eyes.
Check with your PS frequently
Time can heal this.

Post-Operative Concerns

Thank you for your question.  I am so sorry that you are having these issues after your facelift.  You will need to see your surgeon, as soon as possible to be evaluated.  At this stage, the most important issue is to keep your eye moist and well lubricated.  Again, you surgeon will instruct you on how to do this.  Essentially, you will need to have eye drops and eye lubricant.

I am hopeful that these issues will resolve on their own as your swelling goes down.  Usually this is a temporary problem, but may take time to resolve.  I hope that this helps!

-David Gilpin

David Gilpin, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Eyelid and smile not working

Sorry to hear about your postoperative problems.  These issues could be the result of swelling, or injury to the facial nerve branches.  The nerve function usually returns after over a period of months if they're the result of traction injury.  It's important to maintain moisture to the eye by using artificial tears and lacrilube.  Be sure to see your surgeon to go over these concerns and get specific instructions on what to do.  Good luck to you.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Post op issues

Sorry to hear about your problems. Not having photos or knowing what kind of surgery was done limits my answer specificity. 

If your eyes are still swollen it may limit their ability to function. Keeping your cornea moist is very important. You need liquid tears and probably a dressing to minimize drying. 

The lack of function of your lip (upper or lower?) is indicative of nerve injury. These can come back if there is some motion noted at this time even if it is significantly less than the other side.

I suggest speaking (often) to your surgeon and seeking a second opinion if you don't feel comfortable with the answers you receive.

Hope this helps

Dr. J

Nerve problem afatre facelift

This can sometimes happen after a facelift. The most likely cause is tension or cautery injury to the nerve. If this is the case, it should resolve over time. Give it a few months. In the meantime, use artificial tears and lacrilube to moisten the eye. Consider an eyepad during sleep.

Andres Bustillo, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Eyelid and smile not working

These symptoms indicate that your facial nerve (the nerve that controls facial movement and expression) is currently weak.  It is very important to protect your eye as eye closure protects your eye from scratches/debris and keeps it moist.  This is usually done with eye drops, eye lubricants, and protective taping or closure of the eye.  It is best that you follow up with your surgeon regarding your symptoms so he/she can counsel you best.  Hopefully this is temporary, but facial nerve weakness is one of the small risks of a facelift surgery.  Best wishes in your recovery.

Natalie Attenello, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.