I Had a Neck Lift and Fat Injections, Will I Smile Normally?

A week ago, I had a neck lift and fat injections to the face. I'm pleased with my results, however I am unable to smile. Is this normal? Is this caused by the injections, too much fat, or both? Will I be able to smile?

Doctor Answers 7

1 week after fat grafting

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One week post surgery is still very early for you to judge the results of your surgery - be patient and follow up with your surgeon.  It is normal for swelling to distort the smile.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Unable to smile normally...

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Since surgery was only a week ago, you are probaly just experiencing swelling and tightness which is normal.  This usually resolves within two to four weeks.  The important point is that the smile should gradually get better each week.  If it does not, then be sure to discuss it with your surgeon.  Damage to the facial nerves is pretty uncommon, so give the swelling some time to subside, and in the meantime, continue to keep your head elevated and follow your post op instructions. 

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Neck Lift with Fat Injections

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I advise that you consult with your plastic surgeon. If you have weakness in the smile muscles at one week out from surgery, it could mean that a facial nerve was traumatized. If you have some movement in the facial muscles, but a limited ability to smile as fully as before, it may be postoperative facial swelling. Good luck

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

See plastic surgeon after neck lift

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You should see your plastic surgeon as soon as possible so that he/she can examine you to make sure everything is alright.

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

If you cannot smile after Neck Lift and Fat Transfer see your doctor to make sure nerves are intact

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Weakness of the lower lip and a crooked smile are common after Neck Lift and are caused by muscle tightening or the local anesthetic injected during surgery. These problems should resolve in a few days.

If they persist more than two weeks then nerve injury is suspected.

Facial Fat Transfer causes swelling and the combination of swelling and local anesthetic can also disturb the function of the muscles involved in smiling-however this should be temporary.

If after two weeks you cannot smile or the smile is crooked see your doctor who can evaluate the function of the nerves of the face

Difficulty smiling 1 week post facial fat injections and neck lift

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You are only 1 week postoperative so there should still be a lot of swelling present that will inhibit motion, particularly normal motion. Be patient. It may be several more weeks before much of the swelling will subside though it can take 6 months to a year to see the final outcome.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Muscle motion after fat transfer.

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The problem is that you are only one week after surgery.  Wound healing takes a year but at 6 months most people are there.  You must be patient.  At 2 weeks you will look better and at a month even better.  I think smiles are off a bit up to 6 weeks depending on the extent of surgery.  Fat transfer is q great procedure and you will be fine.  Avoid salt, sleep with head elevated, gentle massage will help.  Best   Dr Commons

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