Facelift After Parotidectomy?

Can I have a face lift after a superficial parotidectomy for a benign tumor 6 months ago?

Doctor Answers 21

I Would Be Cautions About A Facelift After a Parotidectomy

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One of the most devastating complications after a facelift is an injury to the facial nerve.  An injury to the nerve, permanently paralyses a section of the face.  After a superficial parotidectomy, the location of the facial nerve location will change and it can be in many different places.  It can be deep in the tissue or close to the skin.  This places the nerve at a higher chance of injury.   


It is possible to do a facelift after a parotidectomy, but there are increased risks.  I would discuss this with your surgeon to see if this is still a procedure for you.


I hope this helps!

Facelift after parotid surgery

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This is an important issue to address.  After parotid surgery, the facial nerve is no doubt at higher risk. First there is underlying scar tissue and the course of the facial nerve can be unpredictable since the "barrier" parotid is no longer present.

However, you can have facelift surgery but must be by an experienced surgeon.  I have performed this procedure and must stay conservative.  You need to wait minimum a year for the skin to become supple, raise a subcutaneous flap and I would not manipulate the smas.  You can combine other non surgical modalities such as liposuction, fat transfer, laser to help improve the results.  Often times, I have seen improvement in patients preexisting Frey's syndrome.

Thank you

Samir R. Shah, MD, FACS
Oak Lawn Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Facelift after parotid surgery

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You can have a facelift after parotid surgery.  The problem the parotid surgery poses is that it makes the facial nerve more susceptible to injury during facelift surgery. Depending on the situation , the facelift will probably need to be a somewhat conservative lift in order to inimize that risk.  Also you will probably need to wait until a full year to have the facelift performed.  Good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Facelift after Parotidectomy

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     I would not recommend a facelift after parotidectomy due to facial nerve concerns.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Face lift after Parotidectomy

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I just saw a person who had a face lift after a parotidectomy by another plastic surgeon and they had a nerve paralysis in the mandibular branch. After a parotidectomy, face lift surgery risks are much greater. I would have the surgeon be very cautious if at all even doing it.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Beware the faical nerve

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Can you have a facelift after parotidectomy? The answer is Yes but the recommendation in NO. If you have had a superficial or total parotidectomy ,your facial nerve is lying literally millimeters below the skin of your face. Although its technically possible , the risk to damaging your facial nerve is very significant and to be honest unacceptable. 

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Facelift after Parotid Surgery - Good Idea??

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This is a question that comes up in our practice once every few years.

Yes it is possible to perform a facelift after superficial parotidectomy.

BUT, I do not think it is a good idea. The anatomy of the facial nerve branches is altered. Commonly, the nerve is now encased by scar tissue and is located rather superficially underneath the skin.

A much better approach would be to discuss a possible later facelift with your head & neck surgeon before the parotidectomy. In that case, the surgeon can take some pre-emptive measures at the time of facial nerve dissection.

Many other treatments for facial rejuvenation can be performed for you. Personally, I have safely performed necklift surgery after parotid tumor surgery.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Increased Risk for Facelift after Parotidectomy

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There is Increased Risk for Facelift after a superficial Parotidectomy as the facial nerve is now lying just below the fat layer so more prone to be injured. I have however successfully perfomed facelifts following this procedure. This is the advise I would give: Wait a minimum of one year, then seek a board certified plastic surgeon who is well versed with facial nerve surgery and parotid surgeries for consultation. He/She will want to see a copy of your prior surgical note and pathology reports and examine you  prior to making a recommendation

Face lift after parotidectomy

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This is possible and the risk depends on whether the facial nerve was dissected out during the parotid surgery.  A review of the operative report would be helpful

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Facelift after parotidectomy

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It is possible but the surgeon must be an expert in facial nerve anatomy.. Personally I would at this time have fat grafting to even out the depressions and this may be enough thereis no dander with this. If later you want a lift it is safer with the fat layer ther and it tis more healed

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 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.