How to Tell if Full Sensation Has Been Restored to Numb Areas After Mini Lower Facelift?

Ear lobes and skin front/back of ears feel kind of numb but when I gently poke the area with a toothpick, I definitely feel sharpness. I can also sense heat/cold and touch.Yet my ears do not yet feel normal yet. (11 weeks post-op.) I have a very uncomfortable tightness & pulling sensation around both ears and I was wondering if the tightness may be causing the strange feeling rather than numbness? Also my right ear has a plugged up feeling even though my ps says canal is clear. Any ideas? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 3

3 Months after Mini Lower Facelift and Tightness and Numbness

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     Your concerns about numbness along with your description indicate that you have already experienced a partial return to function and sensation.  At 3 months, this should continue to improve over the course of a few more months to a year or so.  With regard to tightness, this almost always resolves with tincture of time.  Massage may be useful as well, if your plastic surgeon is OK with that option.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Numbness following mini facelift

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Sorry to hear about the issues you are experiencing following surgery. 11 weeks is still soon after your procedure, and it is not abnormal to be experiencing side effects at this time. Numbness can be the result of nerve damage. In general, most temporary nerve damage that occurs from a facelift will last anywhere from 6 months to a year. It may take longer for a complete recovery, but it depends on the patient and the circumstances of the issue. Tightness is another potential side effect of the procedure. It is separate from the numbness, and not likely the cause of the feeling in your ear. Massage will help improve the tight feeling, but I would not recommend doing this until you can tolerate it. It is possible that residual swelling in the area may cause pressure and a "plugged up" feeling. From here, I would recommend speaking with your surgeon further regarding any concerns, as he/she knows the extent of your procedure and exactly what was performed. He/she may also be able to recommendations on how you may relieve any discomfort. Thank you and I hope this helps! I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your recovery.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Ear Numbness and Tightness 3 months Post-op Facelift

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It is not uncommon to experience tightness and numbness around the ears and surrounding skin at 3 months after surgery. I always tell my patients that it can take up to 6 to 12 months for the these sensations to fully resolve. In a rare patient, the numbness may not resolve completely. The tightness is likely from swelling which can cause pressure on the sensory nerves and contribute to numbness. The fact that you have sensation to heat and cold and sharp objects is a sign that certain aspect of your sensation in the nerves is returning and is a good sign. Your right ear clogging can be due to swelling of the ear canal even though the canal itself may be clear. It could also be the result of fluid behind the ear drum or deep impacted ear wax. I recommend asking your surgeon to take a closer look or send you to and ear, nose and throat specialist to examine your ears. Overall, from what you describe, you seem to be progressing well with your healing.

Anita Mandal, MD
Palm Beach 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.