Paralysis May Persist for 6 Weeks
Thank you for your question. It's
uncommon, but temporary paralysis after facelift surgery is not unheard of --
and when it does occur, it often resolves on its own after about 6 weeks. There
are a number of things that can cause it, including the suturing of a small
branch of the facial nerve, and without knowing the specifics of your facelift,
I can't say for sure what's responsible. If your surgeon believes a significant
branch has been tied up, then exploring and releasing early would be important
to prevent permanent facial nerve damage.
Too much surgery too soon!
From your description it appears that the facial nerve might have been stretched or cut. I would not recommend going back and re-exploring the area as it may create more damage. The facial nerves in the midface are very small and very difficult to actually identify. The Doctor Who did this should explain to your friend clearly what his intention is and what the expectations are. At this point it appears that the facial nerve is not working well and as I said before it could be a cut or stretching of the nerve. Waiting might be an option however if he feel strongly that his sutures is compromising the facial nerve it would be wise to take it out.
Loss of Facial Movement and Scar Concerns
Numbness or muscle weakness following a #facelift is not uncommon. When the skin is separated from the underlying tissues during #surgery, small sensory nerves are cut. Varying degrees of #numbness will be present after surgery and will improve gradually as the nerves reconnect to the skin. This process can take from 2-6 months for face, neck and cheeks, and to 9-12 months for the forehead and scalp. Muscle #weakness may also be present around the mouth especially if liposuction is used. This typically recovers fully in the months after surgery.
The #scars from a facelift mature within six to twelve months from the surgery date. With your surgeon's permission, you may be able to begin using scar management products. But is best to confirm such with your surgeon before using. It is during this time that the rejuvenating effects of the #facelift will become apparent and the real result will be seen. If you have certain concerns about the procedures and #healing process, it is recommended to call your board-certified surgeon or their medical staff and discuss those #concerns.
Facial weakness following midface and facelift
Temporary facial weakness is concerning but can definitely occur following facelift and mid facelift surgery. The surgical procedure involves dissecting close to the motor nerves of facial expression. If suspension sutures were used then these sutures can pinch the nerves. More commonly and fortunately is that the facial nerve was inadevertantly touched during the facial dissection and it has only temporary weakness that should resolve spontaneously. The decision to go back into the face for nerve exploration or to cut the suture is one only your surgeon can make as they are the ones with knowledge of the surgical procedure they used to perform your surgery. I might suggest waiting a bit longer. If there is still no recovery then a nerve conduction study can tell you if the nerve is recovering or not.
Loss of Facial Movement after Mid-Face Facelift (Scars around ears and sideburn area). Any suggestions?
It is still early after facelift surgery and if the nerve is going to recover you should start to see some movement return within the first 6 weeks after surgery.
It is always best to follow the advice of the operating surgeon. I am assuming that the surgeon believes that AL SMAS plication suture may have compressed the facial nerve.
From your description of weakness it is likely that the buccal branch of the facial nerve was injured. The positive aspect of a buccal branch injury is that it is freely anastomosing with the multiple branches and return of function is quite common.
However I would suggest that in addition to seeing her plastic surgeon she also consult a neurologist to clearly localize the point of injury.
If the weakness persists past 6 weeks then a trial of DC (direct current) muscle stimulation to keep the muscles from atrophying may be indicated. The EMS DC muscle stimulator made by Med labs in Goleta California can be helpful.
Loss of Facial Movement After Midface lift
Based on your description, it sounds as if there there may be some degree of swelling to the zygomatic and buccal branches of the facial nerve. In situations of a subperiosteal midface lift, the buccal and frontal (forehead) branches are most at risk due to the proximity of dissection to these structures; the zygomatic branches are theoretically less at risk. Usually, this is a process of inflammation and not a situation of having nerve branches cut. I am not your Surgeon, and this does not represent medical advice, but should a scenario arise in a patient of mine, I would not bring you back to the OR so soon. Re-exploration at this time will be a more difficult case and could compound the problem with more inflammation.
Get another opinion
Was your face functioning normally with normal movement until day 12? Was it a sudden onset of paralysis starting at that date? Answers to these questions make a difference in your decision making?
i have not seen a stitch cause constriction and paralysis. It's best to get evaluation and another opinion from a board certified facial plastic surgeon. It may be better to wait depending upon physical evaluation.
Facial nerve injury post facelift
If the eyelid and the corner of the mouth do not work, there is some injury to the superior & inferior divisions of the facial nerve. I have never seen a constricting stitch that would be placed so deep that the nerve would stop functioning.
If the nerve worked immediately after surgery I would recommend against further surgery. It is unlikely that a stitch was placed so deep that it would contract the nerve.
I think a test to check the continuity of the facial nerve with a facial nerve stimulator would be in order. You may have Bells Palsy which would not be repaired with surgery!
Exploration of the nerve is reasonable under these circumstances.
As your surgeon knows exactly what was done and where the sutures were placed it seems reasonable to re-explore the area. Releasing the constricting stitch, if this is the cause, will help toward correctly your problem. If a nerve was cut, the time to heal would be several months as the nerve regenerates. Best wishes.
Neuropraxia after midface lift
It certainly could be a compressed nerve from a stitch, but as others have mentioned it could also be simply a bruised nerve or even cut during surgery. Regardless of the particular cause, complete recovery may take quite some time. Identifying the issue at hand and the surgeons course of action is reasonable. I know how stressful this can be, but keep a good attitude. Healing can take some time and it sound as though she chose a proactive surgeon who is making sure to take good care of her. Best of luck.