Is TMJ a Risk to Face/neck Lift? I'm 3 Wks Post Op. Dr Says I Have TMJ, Yet I Didn't Before?

2-3 days after surgery, when I was allowed to chew, I started hearing a popping noise on lft side. It's still there and my jaw feels out of place. If I move my jaw around I feel/hear popping and muscles moving around. The doctor was not board certified; bad call I know. He claims it's impossible he caused TMJ. I'm certain I never had TMJ before. In fact, I'm starting Invisalign and the dentist did the molds a few days before surgery and can confirm I didn't have TMJ beforehand.

Doctor Answers 7

TMJ after surgery

It's unlikely the surgery caused issues with your jaw, but the tube that is inserted for anesthesia can have some effects like that.  I would recommend consulting with a local oral surgeon if these symptoms don't improve within the next week or so.

Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

TMJ after Facelift

     This would not be the result of the facelift procedure.  During intubation, the joint can be compromised to some degree.  Early conservative treatment of these TMJ symptoms can be successful.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

TMJ After Facelift Is Unlikely

The symptoms you are describing do sound like TMJ. However, it is most likely not temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which is a condition in which the joints of the jaw are not working properly. It is rare to cause this during a facelift. Most likely the "clicking" is caused by swelling and should subside in a few weeks. Eat carefully as to not irritate it more and avoid repetitive motions with the mouth when possible. If it still persists, check with your surgeon. “Dr. D”

Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

TMJ problems are not caused by a facelift.

Placement of an endotracheal tube can rarely cause dislocation of the disk in the temperomandibular joint.  The operation, however, may cause some symptomatic swelling in the joint area which is self-limited.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

TMJ After Facelift

Though what you are describing sounds like TMJ, it is most likely not TMJ. Sometimes, after undergoing a facelift or necklift, patients will complain about a clicking jaw due to swelling. If you do not notice a change in this symptom over the next several months, please contact your surgeon.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

TMJ with facelift not a worry.

After a facelift, suture placement and swelling can cause a mimic of TMJ syndrome.  This is gone in weeks to a month as swelling subsides and acclimation to sutures occurs.  Do not worry.  Discuss this with your doctor.  Eat and chew in a manner that does not irritate this.  You will be fine.  My Best, Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

TMJ Symptoms After a Facelift

When I perform a facelift, I anchor the cheek structures to the dense tissue over the temporalis muscle (the muscle in the temple that your feel when you bite down). Securing the tissues in this way provides good support during healing.

Sometimes patients will remark that they feel some soreness in the muscle during the early phases of healing. I have not had anyone who has had any long term concern about this early soreness during healing. Check with your surgeon and ask if this a possibility in your case.

Edward Szachowicz, MD, PhD
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 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.