Facial Numbness After Neck/Lower Face/Mid Face Lift, Chin Implant and Jawline Lipo?

4/04/12 (21 days ago) I had a Neck Lift w/jawline lipo, Lower face lift w/Chin Implant, and Mid Face Lift. I cannot feel anything on the left side of Face & Neck incl. teeth and gums. Cant feel chin area from jawline & down neck from there. Bottom lip will not retract. Smile only works on right side. Speach comes out of right side only resulting in lisp. The doctor says dont worry it will come back, but cant say when. I look like a stroke victim because of the mouth not working. Soo worried..

Doctor Answers 6

Numbness After Facelift

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Based on the description, your procedure was fairly extensive and probably required significant operative time and lead to significant swelling.  Although some numbness in the lateral cheek and neck area are a result of the facelift, the impairment in your smile implies a weakness of one or several branches of your facial nerve.  If this is the case, spontaneous recovery is the typical course of resolution.  The numbness on your chin may be due to injury of the mental branch of the trigeminal nerve.  This is also likely to spontaneously recover.  I would keep in close contact with your Surgeon regarding these issues; most likely all of these issues are related to significant acute and chronic edema.

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Facial numbness after neck/lower face/ mid facelift, chin implant and jawline lipo?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.  Neuropraxia is not uncommon to sensory nerves and sometimes to muscles that perform facial animation.  These often return over weeks to months - but followup closely with your surgeon. 

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Facial Numbness After Neck/Lower Face/Mid Face Lift, Chin Implant and Jawline Lipo?

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The numbness should go away after a facelift. You are at 21 days. You are still in the very early stages. The nerves grow back at around a millimeter a day. The facial nerve issue can take about the same time. Recovery can be incomplete. Your doctor will hold your hand through this.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Numbness after surgery

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You've had a lot of stff done and the swelling from this may be substantial. Also some nerve swelling has occurred. In most cases the weakness will correct itself..Be patient and your surgeon will help you along. A second opinion is in order if this persists.

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

Facial numbness following facelift

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I am sorry that you have had this complication.  It is not unusual for the nerves to be bruised or stretched during the procedure.  It would cause the symptoms your are experiencing.  If the nerves were not directly cut during the procedure, then I would expect you to have a full recovery over weeks to a few months.  I would recommend following up with your surgeon.   Your surgeon knows the details of your procedures, and will be able to provide you with the best advice. Thank you and good luck with your recovery.

Numbness and paresis after face lift

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There was significant amount of surgery done and it is possible that some motor and sensory nerves of the face may have been transiently stretched or injured.  Neuropraxia is usually the cause and this type of nerve injury does result in full recovery.  I counsel close f/u with your surgeon or seek a second opinion if you are still concerned. 

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.