SmartLipo Nerve Damage Recovery?

I had SmartLipo under my chin, and the dr. hit a nerve, leaving me with paralysis on the left side of my mouth.

I am now 10 weeks out, and I still have the paralysis. My plastic surgeon just keeps saying it will get better, but I am really starting to wonder since it has been over 2 months and I look like a stroke patient.

How long does it take to recover from nerve damage caused by liposuction?

Doctor Answers 5

See a neurologist for evaluation of nerve injury after neck Smartlipo

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If your mouth became paralyzed following Smart lipo of the neck and chin, most likely the Marginal Mandibular Branch of the Facial Nerve was injured.

This nerve runs close to the skin in the Jowl area and if the doctor attempted to do liposuction of the jowl area the nerve was likely injured.

Most Neuropraxic or temporary peripheral nerve injuries recover in the first six weeks.

However nerves can continue to heal for up to two years.

I would see a neurologist for an evaluation. I recommend DC (Direct Current) muscle Stimulation of the paralyzed muscle to help recovery and in my experience this can help prevent atrophy of the muscle during re-innervation and strengthen the muscle.

Your doctor can obtain a DC stimulator form EMS Labs in Goleta California-the doctor can contact me for the treatment protocol.

The paralyzed muscle is the Depressor Anguli Oris which normally holds the corner of the mouth in the proper position.

75% of partial nerve injuries in the face recover.

Marginal Mandibular weakness usually related to liposuction trauma

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We have one of the largest series of laser assisted facial and neck rejuvenation procedures in the country and are well over 500. I developed the smartlifting technques for face and neck rejuvenation.  In those 500 procedrues 2 had short term lip weakness and this was felt to be due to trauma from the liposuction and not the thermal injury of the laser.  All got better with time and this could be up to 4 months. The two patients had prior face lifts and the scar tissue caused some resistance to the procedure.

Richard D. Gentile, MD
Youngstown Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Nerve injury and Smartlipo

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Any liposuction of the chin region can injure or traumatize the nerve. Usually this is not cut but bruised. Often it will come back over time. At this point you may be better just to observe it for a little while longer and see if it comes back on its own. If not you may require nerve conduction studies and EMG's.

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

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SmartLipo nerve damage recovery?

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Too many open questions on both sides here. How do you know that doctor "hit a nerve?" Does "hit" mean cut the nerve for you??

Ten weeks out and to have neuropraxia = nerve dysfunction is not the same as a cut nerve.

Regarding nerves - if they are divided, you will know. If they are stretched, compressed, they should return to form with time - 2 years perhaps.

My suggestion, if you need another opinion, this is not the place for this. See another qualified doctor, maybe 2-3. Process the information. I'd be surprised if the net recommendation is not for you to let the healing process proceed in a natural way.

Michael Kulick, MD, DDS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Give more time for the nerve to recover

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Although it has been recommended that the nerve be repaired it is extremely difficult to repair a nerve that has been bruised and not truly cut. It is highly unlikely that the nerve was cut with Smart Lipo.

However, repair would require an incision in the area of the nerve (over the jawline) which is not desireable.

In all likelihood, the nerve will recover, and it would be my recommendtation to wait it out.

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.