Frozen Eyebrow After Facelift 18 Mths Ago! What Can I Do?

I had a mini facelift 18mths ago & since then my right eyebrow is frozen!The incision is at the ear & after the hairline hidden in between my hair. My plastic surgeon don't know what to do and I dare not go back to do any corrections in case it get worst! What can I do? Is there any hope or is this permanent? What will happen in a few years time ie will my face look awkward or distorted? Should I give up & live with it? Please help as I'm desperate and don't know what to do! Thank you very much!

Doctor Answers 10

Frozen eyebrow after facelift

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Well, at 18 months, this seems like this is a permanent problem. The best thing to do is to have botox placed on the other side. I am sorry this happened to you.

Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Frozen eyebrow after face lift

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I am very sorry to hear of this problem after a face-lift. My thoughts -

  • It sounds as though your right eyebrow is not moving. 
  • I agree with the other opinions. This would be most likely from an irritated nerve and cannot be expected to improve.
  • Botox to the other eyebrow may balance your appearance.
  • I would definitely get a second opinion from an ABMS Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Best of luck. 

Botox Will Likely Be Your Best Option

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If you do not have movement in your eyebrow 18 months after surgery, it is likely going to be permanent.  In this situation, the asymmetry between the forhead and eyebrows at rest and during animation is typically the greatest aesthetic concern.  In this situation, I would recommend using Botox on the "good" side to weaken the muscles to help increase your facial symmetry.  Unfortunately, there are no good procedures at this time to get your eyebrow moving again.


I hope this helps.  

Frozen eyebrow 18 months after facelift

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I am assuming when you say frozen, that one of your eyebrows does not move.  If that is the case, I doubt that there would be any improvement 18 months after your surgery.  It's difficult to say what may have led to this problem in your particular case, but there must have been some irritation or injury to the nerve which supplies the movement to your eyebrow.  Unfortunately, it most likely will be permanent.  It's possible that using Botox on the other eyebrow could make your appearance more symmetric, but it's impossible to know if you would be a candidate for such a treatment without seeing you or seeing pictures of you.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Fixing a Frozen Eyebrow

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  A frozen eyebrow after injury to the frontal branch after facelift surgery can be fixed with a modified asymmetric brow lift if you do want something for permanent.  Find the board certified plastic surgeon with the BEST credentials for help in evaluation of this problem.

Frozen forehead

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Facial nerve paralysis is very rare in experienced hands.  After this amount of time there is nothing that can be done except to botox the opposite side so that they match when you attempt to raise your eyebrows

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Eyebrow paralysis after face lift

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I'm sorry that you've experienced this complication.  It is most likely that the nerve that controls the forehead and brow muscle, the frontalis muscle, has been damaged.  This nerve is called the frontal branch of the facial nerve and can be damaged when work around the cheekbone is performed- certain maneuvers are utilized to avoid the nerve, but damage here is a rare but known risk.

As others have indicated, utilizing Botox on the other side will help provide some symmetry for you.  I do understand your reluctance to go back to see your previous surgeon, but evaluation by another experienced board certified plastic surgeon will help get you a proper evaluation and provide you with treatment options.

Frozen eyebrow after facelift

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Thank you for your question and sorry to hear of your problem. While it is impossible to give definitive advice without an actual examination, it sounds like you have had a nerve injury to the brow elevators. Given that it is 18 months since your facelift and you have no movement as described, it is likely that this is a permanent injury at this point. 

The best treatment may be to treat the opposite brow and forehead with Botox to improve your symmetry. This can be a relatively simple solution though is not permanent. I would not expect any further changes in your face over time. I would suggest, however, a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. They could discuss the specific alternatives after a complete exam.

Best of luck with your face.

Jeff Rockmore

Frozen eyebrow after facelift

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I agree with the other opinions about the permanence of the problem and that botox to weaken the opposite side would make sense, but I would add that a browlift on the side that is frozen would be a much more long term way to help the situation.

Jonathan Pontell, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Frozen Face after Facelift

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Unfortunatelly, if you are 18 month out from your browlift, I am not optomistic that you will see a return to function.  Here are some suggestions. The goal is symmetry, and the options are temporary weakening of the opposite brow with Botox, or  a direct suspension browlift could be performed through an upper lid blepharoplasty incision on the effected side. This does not create animation, but can raise a static brow. It is a procedure often used in situations when a brow needs to be elevated for reconstructive purposes.

Arthur N. Falk, MD
Albany Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.