I Had a Face Lift 2 Weeks Ago. I Can't Smile on my Left Side. Are There Vitamins That Will Help?

The doctor said to wait and it should repair itself. I am very nervous. Is there anything that will help in the repair process? B vitiamins? Anything I can do to speed/insure the healing?

Doctor Answers 10

Loss of Smile 2 Weeks after Facelift

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    The buccal branches of the facial nerve, which supply that area, provide for cross innervation, and you should recover completely.

Cannot Smile 2 Weeks After Facelift Cause for Concern

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Thank you for your question. I am very sorry to hear of your experience.

It is true that facial asymmetry and transient weakness is common after Facelift, most of these problems show some improvement by 2 weeks if the nerve dysfunction is temporary.

It is true that it may take 6 weeks for a temporary nerve dysfunction to fully improve.

However, if at 2 weeks there is no improvement I suggest that you re visit your Plastic Surgeon.

I have found that early intervention with DC (Direct Current) electrical stimulation can be helpful in protecting muscle function and improving return of function (DC stimulator -Med Labs-Goletta, Califonia.) This therapy should be prescriobed by your Plastic Surgeon or a Neurologist.

Smile recovery after a facelift

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Unfortunately a transient nerve palsy is common after facelift surgery or even after liposuction of the neck. This generally gets better overtime and it takes patience. Things that may help in the process are:



3.nerve stimulation


But truly time will generally heal all. I hope this helps!

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

I can't smile after a facelift

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There are a variety of reasons why your smile may be asymmetric 2 weeks after a facelift. The most common reason is swelling. Occasionally, one side of the face heals at a different pace than the other side. The slower healing side will seem like it is tethered and you are unable to smile completely. This typically resolves with time. Gentle massage can help. 

Another possibility is that one of the branches of the facial nerve was stretched, or otherwise damaged. This is a relatively rare occurrence however it is very well documented. Usually time will heal the weakened nerve and full function will return. I would continue follow up with your surgeon and be compliant with his or her instructions.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

Smile usually returns after a facelift

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The facial nerve that controls the smiling muscles can be injured during facelift surgery.  Complete and permanent weakness after surgery is very uncommon, but a temporary weakness that last for a few weeks or months can occur even in a well performed operation.  Steroids can decrease swelling and inflammation that contributes to nerve weakness, so they can be considered. However, steroids have side effects and it is best for your doctor to decide if the risks are worth the benefits.  If your surgeon is confident that the nerve was not permanently injured, the best course is to wait for gradual improvement each day.  To my knowledge, vitamins and supplements do not have a significant effect in the long term recovery.

David Magilke, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

Facial Swelling/NerveSwelling

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The inability to move your face after facelift surgery may be due to swelling and in particularly swelling around the nerve.  Time is the cure for nerve swelling.  Continue with your follow up appointments so that your PS can monitor your progress.

Dr. ES

Weakness After Facelift

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Weakness after a facelift can occur but is thankfully rare.  Even rarer is permanent weakness.  It may take some time for a nerve to rebound after a procedure.  Although the standard treatment of observation is sufficient, there have been some studies looking at cetyl-L-Carnitine and Nimodipine which have been shown to helpful in the recovery process.  



Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

The facial nerve vs. Post op swelling

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Sorry to hear about your concerns. Many patient may have an asymmetric smile after surgery. The key is if they can move their face (but it is just uneven) vs. being unable to move a section of the face. If it moves but is just different it will almost certainly be better in time. If there is no movement in a section of your face it still cold heal but one has to be concerned that has been damage to the nerve. Be sure to be evaluated by your doctor and get to the bottom of this

Benjamin C. Marcus, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Smiling after a facelift

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There are multiple reasons why you are not able to smile, but most have to do with a branch of the nerve that controls the smiling muscles. If you have partial movement chances are the nerve was irritated, or partially damaged. If there is no movement at all, it most likely means that there was a more severe damage to the nerve and the chances of full recovery are not as good.

You should be fully evaluated to asses whether this is a minor or major injury. Steroids to aid as an anti-inflammatory, and speed up recovery may be of some use.

Best of luck,

Michel Siegel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Nerve weakness after facelift

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Only your doctor knows for sure, but most likely the nerves that control your facial muscles may be irritated or temporarily stunned from the manipulation during the surgery or the swelling after surgery.  Unfortunately there's not much you can do to speed up the recovery when this happens.  Most cases will resolve with a tincture of time.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 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.