Numbness on Forehead After Brow Lift

I am four weeks post op an open Brow lift and upper eyelid surgery. The swelling has gone down a lot, but my forehead is still numb, especially on the right side. When will this completely go down and get the feeling back? Also, I still feel some pressure on the part that is numb--almost like someone is pushing on my forehead.

Doctor Answers 7

Numbness after browlift

Transient numbness after open or endoscopic brow lift is very common. Often times, the nerve which provides sensation to the forehead doesn't function properly secondary to swelling and bruising of the nerve. This is referred to as a neuropraxic nerve injury. Normal recovery of sensation is expected, but it can take several months to 2 years. The nerve in question (supraorbital nerve) will slowly regenerate fibers at a maximal rate of 1 mm/day (an inch/month). You may experience paresthesias (electrical jolts or a marching sensation) as nerve recovery happens. The pressure you describe is also quite normal.

Best of luck.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Numbness temporary

Numbness and some sensory changes are often temporary and can last up to 6 months or so. It is rare for it to be permanent.

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Numbness on forehead after browlift?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Brow lift - numbness

Patients can occasionally feel some numbness after surgery.  However, this usually resolves in several months.  I would definitely talk to your surgeon about this if you have any concerns.  

Dr. Cat Begovic M.D.

Catherine Huang-Begovic, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Browlift numbness

This is a complaint of a modest number of patients after a browlift. Usually it is one sided. Most times the numbness resolves in 1-6 months. Relax and enjoy the improvement in your appearance.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Numbness after Browlift

Altered feeling is sometimes present 4 weeks after a browlift. Hopefully, this will improve over the next several months. There is no treatment available to improve or accelerate recovery. The "pressure" you're feeling is secondary to the numbness. Patience is your best coarse at present.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Nerve recovery is likely.

Return of forehead sensation after brow lift can improve over a two year period subsequent to the surgical procedure.

There are many different techniques utilized and it is difficult to assess the potential for nerve injury from your description.

We are generally more concerned with the motor nerve as this is more vulnerable to permanent injury.

It will likely come back with time. In the meantime protect it from injury or sun burn.

Generally as time proceeds you will appreciated a "marching" return of sensation. Nerves return and grow an average of 1 inch per month.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.