Cheeks Tingling and Stretching Downward After Facelift?

I'm concerned about a weird tingling, slightly painful feeling I am having in my upper cheeks after Facelift. I see some slight bruising and the cheek muscles feel like they are stretching downward. It hurts to lie on my side in bed. And perhaps its my imagination, but I see slight jowls again if i hold my head a certain way. My husband swears he sees nothing. But my concern is this tingling pain in my cheeks and I wonder if my cheeks are sliding down their original position as the sutures dissolve?

Doctor Answers 12

Relax, I'm sure you're fine

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Without knowing how long since your surgery it's difficult to say. But if you're talking about bruising than you must be withing the first two weeks. Regardless of what kind of face lift was done the tingling in the cheeks is due to the return of sensation. The skin is elevated off of the underlying cheek tissue in a standard facelift. Because of this the nerve endings are disrupted and have to reestablish themselves. As the nerves return you will go through many changes in sensation such as tingling, burning, sharp pain and others. This will typically be intermittent in nature and will only last a few months at most.

I doubt the joweling has returned so quickly but it is possible. Usually it's the swelling that is the issue. So relax and give it time. If there are still issues after 6 months then see your surgeon.

Healing after Facelift

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From your description about the presence of bruising, I am guessing that your facelift was done within the past few weeks. During this early healing period, it is normal to have tingling (as nerves regrow) that can last months. The cheek changes and jowls that you describe may be the result of the resolving swelling (edema). Immediately after a facelift, you are very swollen and your face will seem very tight and maybe even pulled too tight. As the swelling goes down, your face will begin to take a more natural shape - this may be why you feel like your cheeks are dropping and your jowls are reappearing. You should discuss these concerns with your surgeon who should be able discuss this with you.

It sounds like you are describing normal changes after a facelift

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To some degree all facelifts settle as the stitches absorb. It is not realistic to expect the immediate postoperative result to last.

It sounds as if the changes you describe are somewhat subtle. This is common for you to be more critical of the results than your friends and family. Discuss your concerns with your surgeon who is the best equipped to review the long term expectations. Tingling is quite common and may take 6 months or more to normalize after a facelift procedure.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Paresthesia are frequent after any lifting operation

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The sensation you discribe will often develop after facelifts, tummy tucks, and breast lifts. It often will start weeks later as the nerves repair themselves. It does go away.

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

Tingling after facelift

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It's hard to give you any definitive answers without seeing before and after pictures as well as having a timeline. If you are within several weeks of surgery, then I would not be as concerned. If several months, then perhaps a bit more concerning. I suggest you discuss your symptoms with your surgeon. It won't help anyone, especially you, if you keep all your concerns to yourself. Be honest with your surgeon and let them know how you're feeling. In my practice, I find that patients who are concerned about postoperative findings oftentimes are instantly relieved with a simple conversation. Good luck!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

There are several reasons for this.

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 This is part of healing and can be there for several months. Done properly, it will not fall to the original position, and those feelings will go away.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Tingling Cheeks and Stretching Downward

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Thank you for your question. For many patients, tingling in the cheeks post-op is a very common thing. As nerves reattach themselves to the skin, tingling, burning, and sharp pain sensations may happen, but do not last for a great deal of time. Jowling, however, could be a potential problem, but is usually caused by swelling and should not be a concern until 6 months post-op.

Ramtin Kassir, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Pain after facelift

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You didn't mention how long after your surgery you are. Pain after surgery is normal, and it is generally well controlled by medication prescribed by your surgeon. If you are concerned about the level of pain you're experiencing, it's safer for you to see your surgeon just in case.

Healing after a facelift

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Generally speaking, it can take 6 to 12 months to completely heal after surgery. Please keep in touch with your surgeon or his/her clinical team to discuss your ongoing concerns.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Cheek discomfort after facelift

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My first question is how long ago was your facelift?  If ithas been in the last four to six months, then normal healing with nerves coming back is very normal.  The face does relax after a facelift as the swelling comes down.  The is normal. You will see fullness in the jowl area if you bend your neck downward.  All needs to be evaluated in a neutral position.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 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.