Best approach to damaged/torn nerve from facelift? (Photos)

Hi lower face and neck lift 13 days ago. Smile now as in pics. After saying it would correct, Dr suddenly wanted to take me back into surgery now to check/ repair the nerve. I refused. I'm told that if i need corrective surgery it makes no difference if it is today or in the next ten days but would have been ideal to do neurological tests in first few days. True? I don't know how much swelling and debilitation will occur in a second operation. Appointment with neurologist due Monday. Advice needed.

Doctor Answers 4

Nerve damage from face lift

Thank you for your question and sorry for your unwanted event. You clearly do not have a cut nerve, you still have function albeit slightly weaker. This means a bruised or otherwise damaged nerve that should completely recover in time. That could take anywhere from 2 to 12 months. Testing will not add anything to the prognosis. Just be patient.

Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Nerve injury from face lift

Thank you for asking about your face lift

  • I am sorry this happened -
  • Surgery now probably would not have been helpful.
  • The muscle weakness is either from a bruised nerve or sutured platysma muscle which can at times cause imbalance lip movement. 
  • In either case. time is your friend - just wait the the nerve function should return.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


This weakness usually resolves in 3 to 6 months and can still come back after waiting longer, like 8-9 months. Nothing can be gained from reexploration. I probably would not bother with neurology consultation or nerve testing. It would not change your treatment course at this point. I also would not obtain any neurological testing in the first few days for this particular problem as you may have researched. It would not change the treatment course.

Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS
Ontario Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Best approach to damaged/torn nerve from facelift

great job! your doctor would probably have made things worse going back in and trying to find the nerve.  80% of these get better in the first 6 months, most of them much quicker. It look like you have tone in your lips which is a good thing.  

Val Lambros, MD, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.