Post-Facelift Spasms

I am 5 weeks post facelift. I had one facial spasm at about 5 days post-op where my facial muscles contracted so the eyes both "squinted" shut very quickly. The second one was at 5 weeks in my right lateral neck muscle underneath the ear (sternocleidomastoid). My swelling is still resolving in the jaw area under the ears, so I am wondering is it a response to this?

Doctor Answers 12

Facial spams after a facelift.

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Relax, these spasms are very common not only in post Facelift patients but in many other post surgical patients as well. Do not be alarmed they will resolve themselves with healing.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Facial spasms

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Any trauma or surgical event such as a Facelift can lead to swelling and bruising. As the event resolves, the nerves and soft tissues begin to function more normally. Nerves and muscles are still in a state of "confusion".

Periodic muscle twitching can occur as the swelling further resolves and the function returns. In short, this does not represent anything wrong and this should resolve with time without intervention. Sometimes small doses of Botox can help with symptoms if they are painful or unsightly in the short term.

Timothy Fee, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Facial spasms post-facelift are normal!

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At 5 weeks, you are back to normal activities, bruising is gone, and scars are beginning to fade, so facial spasms occurring now (similar to the one you noted at 5 days post-op) can make you feel like "something" might be wrong. You still have additional scar maturation that will take several months to occur, and that includes all of the tissues beneath the skin's surface that you cannot see, but that are nonetheless going through the same healing, softening, settling process. You still note some swelling and likely some firmness in your facial tissues, further evidence that you are not yet maximally healed. This will likely take several months (4-6 or longer; every patient is different).

While I can't promise that this will never happen again, I can absolutely tell you that the likelihood of further facial spasms diminishes every day and week that you make progress from your surgical date. Relax and enjoy how much better you look! If you have further concerns, see your surgeon--he or she wants you to feel happy about your recovery!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

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Muscle spasm after face lift

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5 weeks is still relatively early in healing process after your surgery.  There are still irritated nerves and tight and stiff muscles.  Be patient and continue to follow up with your surgeon as directed.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Muscle spasms after face lift

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No, the muscle spasms are not due to swelling or the resolution of the swelling but rather a reaction to the undermining and muscle tightening of the face lift itself.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Brief infrequent facial spasms first 6 weeks after Facelift are harmless

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Brief infrequent facial spasms during the first 6 weeks after a Facelift are within normal limits and nothing to worry about.

This is simply the result of irritation of the facial muscles caused by the surgical dissection during a Facelift.

Sustained frequent facial twitching could be a sign of blood electrolyte imbalance post operatively or caused by a medication you are taking (Compazine) so if the twitching or spasms are frequent be sure you see your doctor.

Facelift recovery

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While I have never heard this from one of my patients, as the other doctors have said this is probably all within the normal recovery and should resolve spontaneously by 3-4 months at most.

Facial spasms after face lift

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Two facial spasms within a fie week period following a face lift are not cause for concern. Undesireable, repeated and disorganized facial contractions (synkinesis) could be indicative of nerve injury but it does not sound like this is the case with your symptoms

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

Post Facelift Spasms

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This is a rather normal part of the healing process.   It should resolve by 3 months.   Deep Tissue Massage works well in treating these spasms in the early stage of healing.   All the best in a safe and happy recovery!!

Paul S. Gill, M.D.

Gill Plastic Surgery

Houston Double Boarded Plastic Surgeon

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Facial Spasm After Facelift

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Although not a common occurrence, facial spasms can occur for several weeks after Facelift.  More commonly, patients experience paresthesias (a zinging, electric shock sensation or a crawling sensation: a sign of sensory nerve regrowth) for 6 weeks to 3 months after surgery.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 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.