Neck Lipectomy Lipo - Chances of Crooked Smile or Nerve Damage?

Im 38 and having a neck lipo procedure. I had body lipo a year ago and i had an easy recovery except that i lost use of one of my arms for about a month from nerve damage/ compression. I am worried that neck lipo can result in some facial paralysis and i cant seem to find how common this complication is. I had lots of swelling with my first lipo so i anticipate a ton of swelling from this procedure. My dr is great but he is not sympathetic to this concern-just says numbnes is normal.

Doctor Answers 8

Liposuction, necklift

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Liposuction of the neck very rarely causes nerve damage resulting in a crooked smile. Numbness of the skin may exist for a few weeks following the procedure. I am not a proponent of liposuctioning the neck however. I much prefer to sculpt out the fat under direct vision through a small incision under the chin. This allows tightening of the underlying muscle, and removal of any excess fat that exists deep to the muscle layer, neither of which can be performed with liposuction.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Neck Lipectomy Lipo - Chances of Crooked Smile or Nerve Damage

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This a possible complication of this operation. As long as you are aware of this you can proceed with the surgery. Best of luck from MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski, 305 598 0091

Liposuction and numbness

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Liposuction of the neck may cause some numbness around the lower face but it is unusual for any permanent nerve damage to occur.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Nerve damage after liposuction.

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In 35 years of doing liposuction, I have never had Nerve injury. You can have numbness around the incision for a few months.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

How about a different doctor?

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Dear Vtech

Damage from facial liposuction to the branch of the facial nerve, the marginal mandibular nerve, that supplies motor function to the depressor anguli oris muscle is well described.  This is the muscle that pulls the corner of the mouth down.  This type injury is uncommon and likely to occur far less than 1% of facial liposuction cases.  Facial liposuction performed with larger cannulas and higher suction pressures does seem to increase the risk of this particular injury.  Note that motor damage is far more worrisome than sensory nerve injury.  While sensory nerve injury can be bothersome, it often recovers and is not directly obvious to others.  On the other hand, a crooked smile is disturbing to others in conversation.

I am actually surprised that after experiencing nerve damage from arm liposuction, that you would be enthusiastic to have more liposuction.  Certainly, you are aware of the risks.  My best recommendation here is that if you are set on having neck liposuction, find a surgeon who takes your concerns of motor and sensory nerve damage more seriously.  Seriously.


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

Nerve damage from liposuction is rare

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Motor nerve damage from neck liposuction is very rare. If the marginal mandibular nerve is disturbed it may fall asleep for a while and cause a failure for the corner of the mouth to lower on the same side as damage so that when the mouth opens, the lower lip will look like it's drooping on the other side. This can take even more than a year to go away and is extremely rarely permanent. Sensation loss from nerve ending compromise may be somewhat more common but does not cause a functional concern despite being annoying.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Nerve injury and liposuction

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Permanent nerve injury is rare in liposuction no matter the site of surgery.  The canulas used have blunt tips, and any of the new variations (VASER, PAL, SmartLipo, etc.) emit various types of energy that used correctly will not cause damage to nerves.  Anatomically, the main sensory and motor nerves are deep to the fat and should not be at the level of the fat extraction assuming the procedure is done correctly.  There may be transient numbness or fuzziness due to bumping into nerves, but this usually returns to normal within several weeks.

Ricardo Izquierdo, MD
Oak Brook Plastic Surgeon

Nerve injury with neck liposuction

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Injury to facial nerve branches with neck liposuction is certainly possible but not uncommon. When it ouccureds it This can result in paralysis and facial asymmetry. This may occur as a direct result of the surgery and from direct injury to the nerve or from the indirect injury from the suction.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.