Does unresolved numbness in cheeks and temple area 7 weeks after midface/lower lid lift indicate possible permanent damage?

The dense numbness I have is terrible. It's impossible focus on much else. Temples, cheeks, under my chin...I don't hear many of the same symptoms I'm having on here. I'm a male in my mid fifties and feel as though I've made a terrible mistake. My PS says it's normal, but it's hard to imagine this going on another year, let alone a lifetime. What's happening here? Is this really normal or do my symptoms indicate something permanent?

Doctor Answers 13

Numbness Following Facelift

Numbness after facelift surgery can last 3-6 months or longer and may persist for up to a year.  Numbness always improves over time, although a few patients can be left with small areas of long term or permanent numbness.

I have found that the same sensations can affect patients in very different ways. Some patients are able to ignore numbness altogether during the healing process while others are completely "tuned-in" to their symptoms.

Be assured that the numbness will continue to improve over time. In the meantime try to relax and keep your anxiety in check. Continue to see your doctor on a regular basis for reassurance and follow-up.

Best of luck to you.


Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Numbness may last for a number of months after a facelift.

It's extremely unlikely that numbness will persist permanently in the areas that you describe. Return a function will be slow it may take six months to a year.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Numbness of face after face lift

Thank you for your question about your face lift.

Yes, it is troubling but completely normal to have extensive numbness after facial surgery.

This slowly resolves as swelling subsides but can take 6 months or longer to fully resolve.
The swelling of surgery separates the nerve endings from the skin -
Once the nerves reconnect with the skin, the feeling returns.

It sounds as though this numbness may have created either anxiety or a neurological feed-back look that is extremely disturbing for you.

Neurontin can help if it is a neurologic feed-back loop. A trial of anxiety medicine may help if Neurontin does not.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope this information helps. Best wishes.

Does unresolved numbness in cheeks and temple area 7 weeks after midface/lower lid lift indicate possible permanent damage?

You are still early after your facelift and based on your symptoms I believe it is very likely that you will have significant return of sensation.  However recovery of sensation after facelift can take a long time, and return is very slow, often a year or 2.

If your symptoms continue to bother you ask your plastic surgeon if a trial of  the medication Neurontin might help.

It is probably not a permanent problem

Usually numbness that is more permanent is localized to one area.  Numbness that is spread over several areas and is more diffuse most often returns. Keep following up, as the prognosis for your numbness to return is excellent.

Gregory S. Keller, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Numbness after Facelift

Continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon. It can take 3 to 6 months and even longer for the nerves to come back. Patients may experience shooting pains or pins and needles as the nerves come back. While it is possible for numbness to be permanent, it usually returns. 

I hope your sensation returns quickly!

Heather J. Furnas, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Does unresolved numbness in cheeks and temple area 7 weeks after midface/lower lid lift indicate possible permanent damage?

Numbness after facelift surgery can take a  long time to improve. It is not abnormal for there to be numbness for 3-6 months, and sometimes it can take up to a year to resolve. Make sure to follow up with your surgeon on a regular basis so that he can monitor your healing. Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Numbness after Facelifting

Numbness after facelifting can take a very long time to improve.  It is not abnormal for there to be numbness for 3-6 months, and sometimes it can take up to a year to resolve.  Make sure to have close follow up with your surgeon.  Good Luck

Gaurav Bharti, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Numb for 7 weeks

the more invasive the procedure, the greater the chance of the numbness but it is usually a self-limiting problem that gets better. Every patient is different and in some cases it can take 6 months or more to return, although some slight sensation starts to come back sooner than 6 months. It is not like a light switch where it all returns to normal all of a sudden. You need to give it more time.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Numbness after 7 weeks is not unusual

It can take months for sensation to come back, in rare cases up to two years later.  It may seem concerning for you at this time but please be patient, allow your body to heal.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 425 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.