Bells Palsy Effect One Week After Face Lift. What Are the Chances for Complete Recovery? (photo)

I did use a Lifestyle Lift surgeon who has much experience and an excellent reputation. I am able to lift both eyebrows; however, my right eye will not close and I seem to have very little control over the right side of my mouth. I am using moisturizing eye drops for day time and an ophthalmic ointment at night with steri-strips to close the lid. Despite this, affected eye looks progressively worse each day (surgery 7/9). Do I need a second opinion? I am on Keflex, Acylovir and Medrol pk.

Doctor Answers 9

Damage to the facial nerve is a serious complication with a facelift and must be addressed as soon as possible.

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The picture is very worrisome to me.  It looks as though the facial nerve has been damaged.  It might recover but it might not.  This needs to be carefully evaluated and monitored.  Exploration and repair of the nerve might be necessary.

Bell's palsy after a facelift

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Did your palsy develop some time after the surgery or did you notice it right away?  If it developed days after the surgery, its unlikely a surgical injury to the facial nerve and most likely a Bell's palsy for what you seem to be treated.

Face drop post lift

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The question is is this a temporary thing ie a brusied nerve or a Bell's palsy.I would probably see a neurolgist to get a second opinion.

Apparent facial nerve injury after LifeStyle Lift

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As noted by others who have answered your question, you appear to have a facial nerve injury.  This is a very serious complication and should be addressed promptly.  You may need re-exploration and repair of the injured nerve if the injury can be identified (easier said than done) - sooner than later.  You may want to see a board certified plastic surgeon (American Board of Plastic Surgery) with microsurgery expertise for a second opinion.  Electrodiagnostic studies/nerve studies may be helpful to define the status of the facial nerve and its branches.  

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Facial nerve injury after facelift

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An injury to the facial nerve is very uncommon after facelift though I am not familiar with what occurs with a lifestyle lift. The pattern of the weakness that you have indicates that a major branch of the nerve has been compromised and you should not wait to see if it recovers. A second opinion would be our suggestion.


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Given your photos and your symptoms, it seems like your facial nerve was injured and I would advise that you see your surgeon or get a second opinion asap before things may turn worse-it does not seem to be Bell's Palsy.  I hope this resolves for your sake

Facial Nerve Injury After Facelift

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I am sorry to hear about your experience.  I would be worried about a facial nerve injury.  This could due to swelling or direct injury to the nerve. This is not Bell's Palsy.

Facial nerve injury after Lifestyle Lift

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Hopefully your surgeon is very actively involved in this potentially devastating complication you are appearing to have.  It would be highly coincidental for this to be a Bells' palsy simultaneous to your surgery.  The likely explanation is an injury to your facial nerve.  These are rare and often resolve spontaneously.  However, there is a possibility that it might not.  Has your surgeon considered and discussed with you the possibility of re-exploring the side of your face and looking to see if the nerve was cut and repair it(only do this if they are technically trained in nerve repairs and microsurgery!!)?  Another possibility is that it is trapped in stitches which could be removed and might help the recovery.  If the surgeon is not involved in this, I'd get a second opinion asap.

1 Week after Facelift and Facial Nerve Injury

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    At one week after facelift, damage to the facial nerve branches are most likely temporary.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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.