How Long Should I Wait Before Seeing Neurologist After Suffering Nerve Damage in Face?

I had neck lift one month ago and now suffer from mandible nerve trauma or injury which is affecting lower lip. One PS suggested getting a referral to see neurologist for test to determine if nerve is damagned permanent or just stretched and also start some stimulation. Surgery was performed 6/29 and I don't see Dr. until 8/17. Still numb on side that is affected from ear to chin and it seems much tighter than the other side.

Doctor Answers 2

Nerve weakness

Neuropraxia from stretching can take 6-9 months to completely recover. An EMG can tell you if there is neural recovery activity but the best test is your surgeon's knowledge that the nerve is intact. If so it will recover and no stimulation treatment will make it go any faster.

West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Consider seeing your plastic surgeon earlier.

I think it is very reasonable to have closer follow-up when there is a issue after surgery.  I would recommend calling your surgeon and being seen earlier rather than when you are currently scheduled.  It is important to understand that despite a great deal of research and some true nerve grafting successes, it is not possible to predictably rehabilitate this type of nerve injury.  There can be significant nerve recovery but it is seldom complete or as complete as we would like.  This also makes it difficult to recommend aggressive facial nerve reinnervation surgery that has side effects associated with it.  Should you see a neurologist, sure if this is someone your plastic surgeon has worked with in the past and they know what they are doing.  Be aware though that it is generally plastic surgeons who manage these types of injuries.  They are the ones who perform microsurgery to transfer or insert nerve graft or directly repair damaged nerve where this is possible.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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