Cheek Implants - Worried About Numbness and Tightness Around Nose

I had cheek implants (medpor screwed into place) by a reputable Max Facial Surgeon. Unfortunately 1wk post op right cheek formed a haematoma which I received appropriate treatment for & resolved this issue. BUT I am so worried as I have this extreemly tight congested feeling in & around my nose and nasal folds on both sides plus there is a portion of my right lip & cheek that has no feeling. I am very scared and thought by 6 weeks that this would resolve, is this normal? Thanks

Doctor Answers 3

Numbness And Tightness Of The Face After Cheek Implants

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Depending upon the style, size and location of the cheek implants, they likely extend below and around the infraorbital nerve. This is a big nerve that is responsible for the feeling of the skin around the nose, upper lip and teeth. (but not movement) When cheek or midface implants are placed around this nerve, it would be common to have a period of numbness to the areas that the nerve supplies. The key about this numbness is whether it is improving or not. If there has been some gradual improvement in the amount of numbness six weeks after surgery, then it is likely going to go away in a few more months. If it is just as numb today as it was the first week after surgery, the implant may be putting pressure on the nerve and may need to be repositioned. As for the tightness, as long as you have the aesthetic result you desired, this is a feeling that should go away as the swelling subsides and the overlying tissues adapt to the 'push' of the implant. As a general rule, you should not judge the look and feel of a cheek implant for at least 3 months after surgery.

Cheek implants

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The tightness and congestion will certainly go away with time. Persistent numbness is usually caused by stretching of the nerve during the procedure. As long as you doctor is certain that the nerve was preserved and that the implant was secured in a position that did not press on it then it should also resolve in time.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Probable ION injury

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Unfortunately, your description indicates that the inferior orbital nerve has been injured. Certainly the hematoma would have caused more swelling, for longer, and with expected "tightness" , however the lip and cheek numbness indicates ION injury. If the nerve was cut, the numbness is likely to be permanent in spots (a portion will come back) but, more likely the nerve was simply stretched and will come back --it may take months. There is nothing to do but remain healthy and wait.

Good luck

Reginald Rice, MD
Folsom Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 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.