How Long Postop Does It Take for a Patient to Regain Facial Muscle Strength?

I have heard that patients who have had mini face lifts experience some weakness of their upper lip and an inability to fully open their mouths following the surgery. How long before those muscles function as they did before the surgery?

Doctor Answers 3

Muscle weakness is very uncommon after facelift surgery

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Muscle weakness is very uncommon after facelift surgery, Especially following a mini-lift it is highly unlikely that any nerve injury would result if the procedure was performed by an experienced facelift surgeon. Following more extensive facelifts, limited facial weakness can occasionally result from stretching of nerves and resolves in several weeks to several months. However, this is an uncommon complication. If you are seeking consultations with facelift surgeons and are concerned, you should ask specifically about the occurrence of facial muscle weakness in their patients. It should not be a common occurrence among most surgeons.

Thank you for your question.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Should resolve in a few weeks

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For those who do experience facial muscle weakness, the weakness should resolve on its own within a matter of weeks. The muscles are regaining movement after surgery where they are lifted. If you are concerned about this issue, discuss it with your doctor prior to your mini facelift.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Muscle Weakness after Mini Lift

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If performed properly, it is extremely unusual to see true muscle weakness after a Mini Lift. It is more common to have muscle stiffness and tightness from lifting the loose face and neck muscles during the surgery. In general, the stiffness improves dramatically during the first two weeks after surgery, but will continue to improve for the first few months afterwards.

If you have true muscle weakness from injury to the nerves that control the face, the movement will generally improve over the first 6 months after surgery. If there is a concern about muscle weakness or nerve injury, this should definitely be discussed with your surgeon.

Gregory J. Vipond, MD, FRCSC
Inland Empire 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.