Why Do I Still Have Extreme Pulling, Pressure and Tightness 6 Months After Facelift Surgery?

I am 6 months post mid facelift, neck lift, upper and lower blephoplasty, endoscopic brow lift and cheek implants. I am still experiencing extreme tightness, pressure and numbness in front of and behind my ears, neck and all incisions. Been to PS several times, tried oral steroids, etc.. with no relief. My neck still feels like I'm being choked. . Can I expect any improvement given I am 6 months out with little or no improvement since my surgery?

Doctor Answers 8

Why Do I Still Have Extreme Pulling, Pressure and Tightness 6 Months After Facelift Surgery?

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Dear Melody,

Thank you for your question.  Most patient get used to the extra tightness and it resolves in a month or two.  You may have some scar tissue develope and may benefit from steroid injection or massage.  Follow up with your plastic surgeon and express you concerns.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tight Feeling after facelift

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Th tight feeling is a natural variant of post op healing.   Usually it gos in 4 to 6 months but it can last a year or so.  This varies greatly from person to person.  You are not tight, it just feels that way and will leave.  Sometimes mild steroid injections in area of discomfort help.  Occasional Medrol Dose Pak also helps.   Be confident this will all go.  You will be fine.  My Best,  Dr C

Tightness after Facelift

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Six months  is a long time to have this degree of discomfort. If not satisfied with your surgeon's answer you may wish to consult with another facial plastic surgeon for some reassurance.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

Facelift and tightness at 6 months

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At 6 months, tightness shoudl have improved. If certain neck manuevers were performed to improve the jaw line, sometimes these sutures can feel tight. Often they soften.  Best to be followed by your surgeon.

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

Tightness following facelift etc.

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i thase been my experience that most patients don't report signficant amounts of "tightness."   furthermore, any tightness expeirenced is generally improved withing 1-2 months, if that.  what you are experiencing might be a technique-dependent issue.

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Of course we do not have all the details from your surgery.

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When sensory nerves are cut, damaged or impinged during surgery, and you had the blue plate special, these types of sensations can occur.  Of course the brief statement about abnormal sensation that might result after a facelift that was in your consent, does not really prepare you for what you are describing.  Time can be very helpful this these sorts of issues.  Generally though I find that for some, an assessment by a neurologist can be very helpful.  Some drugs including some in the antidepressant family can help the body better deal with these sensations.  Generally while these sensory changes tend to dimmish over time, drug treatment can be beneficial in certain situations and it might be useful for you to explore this.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Botox can work for neck tightness

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Neck tightness after facelift and necklift surgery is uncommon but it can be treated.  Usually it resolves with time.  Wound contraction is a normal process that occurs after any surgery.  Neck tightness is an exaggerated form of the natural healing process.  I agree with Dr. Mayl, massage and steroid injection (Kenalog) can be helpful.  The other thing that your plastic surgeon may try is a botox injection in the platysma muscle.  It can help the muscle relax and lessen the discomfort.  Neck stretching and yoga can also be helpful.

W. Matthew White, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Several things can be considered.

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Even this late there are things that can be helpful:

  • If you have a "hot spot" or "trigger point" - it can be injected with dilute steroid
  • Massage is also usually helpful.  You use a "desensitization routine" beginning very lightly and slowly increasing the pressure over at least five minutes.  Done three times daily over a light facial cream, this can be very helpful.

Avoiding the area and decreasing function will usually make the problem worse.

Dr. Mayl

Fort Lauderdale

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

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.