are there any substantial consequences with weight gain after a mini facelift?

my face never got feeling back after a year and two months since surgery,and if feels like electric, prickly feeling in jaw and neck.

Doctor Answers 9

Weight gain after facelift

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Weight changes affect our appearance differently.  

Some gain a few pounds and it reflects dramatically on their face.  Some gain considerable weight and there no substantial change in facial appearance.

This individuality is not affected with a mini lift.  That is, your tendency to lose or gain facial volume should not be affected.

Your new appearance may give the presentation of weight loss because of the facial changes resulting from the lift.   

Sensory nerve healing continues months after skin undermining and is described as electric and prickly, this is normal healing.

Aliso Viejo Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Sensory Changes after Facelift

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Dear mistake430, this is a very good question. Gaining or losing a few pounds usually won’t affect the results of a face lift, but drastic weight gain may potentially affect your results. Loss of sensation or impaired sensation typically resolves itself about a year after undergoing a facelift, although gently massaging the face can help the nerves to recover more quickly and normally. Given that it’s been approximately 14 months since your last surgery, I would consult with your plastic surgeon to ensure that your impaired sensitivity is not due to anything other than slow-to-heal nerves.

Painful sensation after facelift.

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The sensations that she described are often called dysesthesias and usually indicate nerve healing.  Another option is a neuroma caused by injury to one of the sensory nerves.  Typically a neuroma can be diagnosed by tapping the point of injury and producing the discomfort.  I suggested she visage your plastic surgeon for an exam.

Sensory Changes

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Thank you for your question. Sensory changes are very subjective and patients can experience all kinds of symptoms as the feeling in you face begins to return. Prolonged numbness is not uncommon and certainly many patients will have different feelings for up to  year and occasionally even longer. As the numbness subsides electric shock or sudden shooting, brief pain are very common and seen in many types of aesthetic surgeries. These usually subside with time and no treatment. Hypersensitivity or strange sensation to touch is also common and light massage , once things have healed, seems to calm the symptoms down and allows you to be a little more proactive in your recovery; which many patients prefer. Most importantly with time these symptoms will resolve themselves.
Finally significant weight gain or loss for that matter can affect your result. The subcutaneous tissue in our face has substantial fat cells so weight gain can blunt some of the refinement that you may have initially noticed
Best of Luck

Lee A. Gibstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon


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Prolonged sensory loss (beyond a few months) after facelift is uncommon and of course, very distressing. But it nearly always resolves with time.  The fact that you do have some tingling and/or other bizarre sensations means that the nerves are essentially intact, but have reacted poorly to the stress and swelling from the surgery.  But it also means that normal sensation is very likely to return.  Patients is a great virtue in your situation.

R. Scott Yarish, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Weight Gain and Sensory Changes after Facelift

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After "substantial weight gain," you may see your face looking fuller. Importantly, substantial weight fluctuations can lead to long-term skin laxity.
The "electric, prickly feeling" may represent the recovery of the sensory nerves that became numb after surgery. It may be helpful to lightly stroke the areas of abnormal feeling to stimulate the nerves to return to more normal feeling ("sensory re-education").

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Face lift - when does feeling return to normal

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Thank you for asking about your face lift.

  • The changes in feeling from a face lift can takes a long time to subside -
  • It can take 18 months or more - but the area involved should be slowly shrinking.
  • But you should see your plastic surgeon and consider medication if this is bothersome.
  • If you gain weight and it goes to your face, your face will look heavier and some of the face lift definition will be lost.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Electric Prickly feeling after Facelift

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Occasionally a sensory nerve branch
may not reconnect and remains sensitive 
to stimulation. Often desensitization may
be assisted by local massage. See yourplastic
surgeon for diagnosis and recommendations.

Fernando Colon, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Post lift sensations

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First of all, check back with your surgeon. Normally, after a year, the sensation in your face should return. However, there are times when that doesn't occur. The strange sensations hat you're experiencing may be an indication that the nerve endings are not regenerating properly--have your surgeon evaluate it. There are medications that can be used to minimize that feeling.

Robert J. Smyth, MD
Cincinnati 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.