Weak Smile 5 yrs After Facelift Surgery. Could There Have Been Damage???

I thought it would correct itself but has been 5yrs.

Doctor Answers 14

Weak Smile 5 yrs After Facelift Surgery

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Assuming that you did not have a weak smile before the facelift surgery, and that you did not have nay other facial nerve issues such as Bell's Palsy, then it would be safe to assume that the problem may have been the result of the surgery and it is unlikely for much function to return after 5 years

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Face Lift

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After 5 years, there is not much chance of things changing very much.  See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for a thorough assessment of your issues, and the chance of correction.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Facelift - Weak Smile 5 yrs After Facelift Surgery. Could There Have Been Damage???

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Unfortunately, it is possible that you have permanent damage from your procedure.  However, before you get to that conclusion, there are many other possibilities to consider.  Are you sure there wasn't weakness before, are you sure it hasn't gotten better, etc.  While areas of weakness can occur after facial surgery (and can occur after a wide range of facial surgery procedures), the majority of the defects are temporary, with dramatic or full improvement within several weeks to months, depending on the exact mechanism of the injury.  If a defect has lasted longer than 6  months there is an increased likelihood that there will be some permanence.  You may want to have a consultation with a facial nerve expert, just to have it assessed and to see what your options are.  Needless to say, I'm very sorry for this situation.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

I would have to see pictures, but am a facial paralysis expert

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I would have to see pictures as this is hard to tell with the limited info you gave.  If you want you can email me pictures at info@facialplastics.info.  I am a facial paralysis expert so can help

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

A weak smile 5 years after a facelift could be due to nerve damage but this is a very rare complication.

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Permanent damage to the facial nerve (responsible for facial function) is very rare.  Temporary functional disturbance is occasionally seen but generally resolves in a few weeks.  I'm not sure you have a "weak" smile without better examination, but if you do and it's been five years, the problem is probably permanent.

Face Lift Weak Smile 5 yrs after will not likely come back much more

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Usually weakness from a facelift is something that should come back in the first year. 5 years later means that it is likely permanent.  But it could be other reasons that you feel your smile is weak.  It could be just the way that it was lifted. I would really have to see how you are smiling to tell if there is anything that you should be concerned about.  Usually if it is a true injury to the facial nerve, the damage is asymmetric and not symmetric. If you find that your smile is weak in a symmetric way, I doubt that this is due to a facial nerve injury. If you are interested send me some pictures with you smiling and with you not smiling for me to see. You can even set up a consultation via phone or, better, video for me to assess your situation.

Thanks for reading, Dr Young

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Face weak after Face Lift

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 It's difficult to say without seeing photos of your face before and after while you are raising your eyebrows, closing your eyes, puckering the lips and pouting as these movements test the strength and function of the facial nerve.

 During a Face Lift, the branches of the facial nerve should be avoided and their damage is uncommon.  If there is weakness, in facial movements, after a Face Lift beyond the first several few weeks post op....there's a chance this function could return but that would occur within the first year.  Nerves, including branches of the facial nerve regenrate at 1mm a day.

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

Weak Smile 5 Years After Facelift?

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Although it is difficult to determine what a "weak smile" means, I am guessing that it refers to some alteration of the appearance of your smile, potentially related to the movement of your mouth.  Any such change would suggest injury to a motor nerve branch (facial nerve) to your upper lip or cheek.  This is a very rare occurrence during Facelift in experienced hands.  If a facial nerve branch is injured, the effects are manifested immediately. Most injuries that occur are neuropraxias and resolve spontaneously within days to weeks.  If there is no spontaneous resolution within a year, recovery is unlikely.  At 5 years, there will be no further recovery.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Weak smile after facelift surgery

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As stated by the other surgeons it is difficult to determine your problem not knowing the exact surgery performed and how it looked immediately after surgery to whatnyounare seeing today. Most facelift surgeries do not create a permanent imbalance or asymmetry of the smile. Sometimes in the immediate post operative phase you may see some asymmetry of the smile and this usually corrects itself after swelling and rejuvenation of the nerves. Right after surgery due to injections or weakness of a nerve you may see asymmetry however five years post op is a long time and unlikely to be your problem. I would go back into your surgeon and discuss your concerns and he/she should be able to answer your questions for you. I wish I could be of more help however without a direct examination and viewing your previous before photographs and understanding the exact procedure you underwent it is difficult to diagnose via Internet. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Facelifts rarely cause weak smiles

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Nerves and muscles are at risk during any surgery, so it is possible that you had an injury during your facelift 5 years ago that resulted in a weak smile.  However, permanent nerve injuries are very rare and most "weakness" symptoms after a facelift resolve within month.  If it was the result of an injury, the weakness would have been much worse right after surgery.  If you did not notice a weakness right after surgery, it is possible that the asymmetry was something that is natural to you.   Most people have asymmetric smiles that they "notice for the first time" after surgery.  If you did have an injury five years ago, it most likely is permanent at this point with little chance of improvement.  Hopefully you have been communicating with your surgeon and the two of you have watched your progress.  If not, please make an appointment for follow-up.  While the nerve damage can be permanent, there are things that can be done to improve your appearance and lessen the asymmetry of your smile.  Good luck.

David Magilke, MD
Portland Facial 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.