Just Had Orthognathic Surgery, Swelling in Lower Lip is Still Very Bad, When Will That Subside?

3 weeks post op I have no feeling in half my face, and even the top of my face feels a little numb, my lower lip is still huge and swelling doesn't seem to be going down. I also had lipo in chin, neck and there are huge ridges, that are hard feeling and really painful and also not going down..is this normal? The Dr says it is fluid, but I am afraid it might be scarring, is that possible? I am really freaking out. She said to put moist heat and lightly massage, which I try to do, but it hurts!

Doctor Answers 1


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At 3 weeks post op it is not uncommon for patients to continue having numbness and swelling.  The numbness is due to the local anesthetic that is used to numb your entire mouth and lips during orthognathic surgery and sometimes it can take awhile for the body to flush those medications out.  Local anesthetic was probably also used when your chin and neck were liposuctioned which could be contributing to your lower face numbness.  This soon after liposuction it is not uncommon for there to be some contour irregularities that can be due to fluid and swelling.  This should resolve with time but it could take 6 months before your final liposuction result is visible.  I would advise you to follow your surgeon’s advice but if your symptoms do not improve you should schedule time to see your surgeon to discuss your concerns.  I require my patients to wear a compression garment around the chin and neck area after liposuction that is helpful with decreasing post operative swelling.  If your surgeon did not suggest a compression garment you might consider asking your surgeon if that would be appropriate in your case.  Also, perhaps pain medication can be prescribed for you to take before trying to massage your neck and chin.  Another suggestion is to drink plenty of fluids as that will help flush any lingering medications from your system.  Drinking large amounts of water can also help reduce swelling. Try to be patient and give yourself time to heal.  Every person heals differently and recovery cannot be forced or sped along.  However, if your symptoms worsen or you develop fever be sure to contact your plastic surgeon immediately.

Be well and good luck!


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