5 days post-op of Facelift, my right eye won't blink and right upper lip is lazy/immobile. Is this normal?

W/concentration, I can close right eye about 50% but no blinking mechanism. I believe I see "some" improvement in swelling this morning. I'm sooo anxious & nervous. I've read so many threads & know nerve trauma/damage happens & can take months to heal. I'm looking for optimistic experiences -- ie, ever see nerve trauma return to normal after 10? 15? 20? days. Any words of encouragement. I see my doctor again tomorrow. I believe the technique was a smas facelift. I am so worried!! (rev. mid-facelift w/fat xfer (1st facelift 15 yrs ago).

Doctor Answers 14

Is this normal?

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While it is not normal to have a lazy upper lip or lose blink reflex in your right eye, this does not mean it will be a permanent condition.  As you continue to heal and the swelling resolves, you may note improvement in both of these areas.  You surgeon can give you more information regarding your condition at this time.

Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

5 days post-op of Facelift, my right eye won't blink and right upper lip is lazy/immobile. Is this normal?

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I would not say that this is normal but it is really best that you see your surgeon to discuss your concerns. Your surgeon is the only one who knows the details of the surgery and thus what your expectations should be for recovery. Please make sure your eye is not drying out--saline eye drops and/or eye lubrication are needed if you really can't close your eye fully, especially with sleep.

Megan Jack, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Droopy face 5 days after face lift

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You are early after your face lift
Swelling can cause the changes you are seeing, although they are of course going to worry you.
See you plastic surgeon now and arrange to be seen weekly until this resolves.
If you are seeing improvement, even if slight, that is an excellent sign. Best wishes.

Temporary disturbances of blinking can occur after a facelift.

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You are probably working too much. The swelling associated with the facelift often times leads to temporary muscular function disturbances. Keep in contact with your plastic surgeon.

Facial nerve dysfunction 5 days after facelift surgery

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Most facial nerve injuries following facelift surgery are reversible.  75% of transient weakness caused by facial nerve dysfunction after facelift return to normal after the first 6 weeks and usually after the first 10 days.

If your weakness persists past 6 weeks ask your surgeon to consider direct-current muscle stimulation using the EMS direct muscle stimulator.

Time and patience will allow you to see the final result better.

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There can be transient nerve dysfunction after a facelift from a number of normal events that occurs during a facelift, such as swelling, tissue tightening,etc.  Patience and time will usually be rewarded with a slow return to normal function.  The majority of these nerve weaknesses fully recover so follow up closely with your plastic surgeon.  The fact that you see some function is a good sign.

Eye issues after facelift

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It is unlikely that you have a nerve injury severity of facelift. This is probably transient swelling of the nerve if at all. Your eyelid function will return over the next week too. Until that time I will make sure that you lubricate that eye and use tape at night to help close to protect the globe.

Facial muscle problems after facelift

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Facial muscle function difficulties after a facelift, especially a revision, are not common but not unusual. The cause is usually trauma to the facial nerve from stretching or bruising although injury from cautery or direct trauma can occur. These injuries are slow to improve, on the order of months to years. Soft tissue massage and muscle stimulation may be of benefit for the time being and I would discuss these treatments with your surgeon. Most of these injuries do improve and muscle function is normal or close to normal.

Andrew Goldberg, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon

Facelift, SMAS lift

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It sounds like you have some type of problem with your facial nerve.  If it is from swelling, it should return soon (maybe around 3-5 months), but if it is from other causes, such as actual injury with it being cut, burnt, etc. then it may take a very long time. In very rare cases, it may not come back.
Look at the rest of your face. Are you able to raise your brow, are you able to blow your cheeks, wrinkle your nose and also show your teeth.  These are some of the other functions of this nerve.
But, checking in with your surgeon is the best course of action.
I wish you well.

Nerve weakness after a facelift

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nerve weakness after a facelift
weakness after a facelift especially a revision, can occur from stretching, cauterizing, suturing.   this is essentially bruising of the nerve and generally recovers after weeks or at times a few months.   This may improve significantly as your swelling diminishes.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 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.