Almost 4 Months After Facelift, Strange New Sensations. Please Help Me to Understand What's Going On?

I had a mini lower lift 4 months ago. My primary complaint up to last week has been uncomfortable tightness around ears. That discomfort has just started to decrease but now I have some disturbing entirely new symptoms: tightness in the neck and along jaw; strange numb-like feelings from front tops of ears through the jaw. The new symptoms are not constant--they manifest every couple of days but persist for the entire day. Is it normal for new symptoms to develop after 4 months? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 6

Changes in Sensation Accompany Healing after Facelift

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Thank you for this question. After 4 months, your face is still healing. Though all of the incisions are closed, there are changes happening in the deeper tissues: nerve endings are reconnecting, collagen is remodelling, etc.It is normal to have some changes in skin sensation during this time. A physical examination with your surgeon will be helpful to rule out anything of concern.

4 Months after Facelift and Strange Sensations

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     As the scars mature and tissues relax, there may be additional sensations that may be observed.  An exam would be necessary to rule out anything else.

Recovering from a facelift

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After 4 months you will still be healing. It is not abnormal to feel tightness, numbness, and swelling at this time. Numbness may be caused by temporary nerve damage, which will usually resolve itself within 6 months to a year following surgery. It may take even longer for a complete recovery, but it really depends on the patient and the extent of their surgery. Light massage can help, but I would only recommend the massage if you can tolerate it. I would recommend speaking with your surgeon regarding the issues you are experiencing. He/she may be able to provide some additional insight on your side effects and what may be done to provide some relief. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your recovery. 

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Post Facelift Sensations

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Thank you for your question. As you heal, tissue is reconnecting, and the new tissue will feel tight until it is flexible enough to not be felt. This is normal, and will persist for the first 12-18 months after surgery. Gently stretch the skin and healed areas, and work it back into full range of motion. Avoid hard stretches as this can cause inflammation. I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Numbness after surgery

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Numbness and discomfort after surgery is normal. Over time as the facial nerves recover from the surgery, sensation starts to return. As this change occurs patient start to have all sorts of new feelings and tension in the surgical area. If your appearance is improving and your PS is not concerned, you should be fine. These sensations would improve over time as healing occurs.

Shahriar Mabourakh, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 227 reviews

Discomfort after facelift

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Discomfort after facelift is common but it varies from patient to patient. Persistant pain or numbness is of more concern than the intermittent simptoms of which you complain. If your surgeon does not think anything is seriously amiss, I would tend to agree with him. Massaging your neck and incision line with a moisturizing cream for five minutes three times per day should help. Ultrasound would also give symptomatic relief. This is generally administered by physiotherapists but may be overkill in your case. It may take a few months to feel normal but you will!

J. Brian Boyd, MD
Rolling Hills Estates Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.