I'm 9 Weeks Post Op Following a Face/neck Lift with Significate Pain Around my Ears, Face and Neck (Under Entire Jaw Line)?

I believe it is a combination of nerve pain/swelling. I have severe burning pain all the time around ears, face and neck. IIt's worse on the left side (most of my ear is still numb on this side). I have been taking muscle relaxers, anti-spasm meds, Tylenol, Benadryl (advise of PS), and recently Ibuprofen. The pain is excruciating most all the time. I'm having difficulty just getting through the day. What can I do to get this burning pain/swelling under control?

Doctor Answers 10

Face lift burning sensation around the neck and ears

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It sounds like your doctor is doing all the right things. Musle relaxants are definitely one thing I would stick too. There are also other medications that could help your discomfort like nortryptiline, valium, etc. Possibly carbamazepine could help to if it is of neural origin. You also could be developing more scars. Steroid injections could help as well. This will get better with time. Your plastic surgeon will hold your hand through it all.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

See surgeon if pain is concern

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Pain after surgery is normal, and it is generally well controlled by medication prescribed by your surgeon. If you are concerned about the level of pain you're experiencing, it's safer for you to see your surgeon just in case.

Healing after a facelift

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Generally speaking, it can take 6 to 12 months to completely heal after surgery. Please keep in touch with your surgeon or his/her clinical team to discuss your ongoing concerns.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Neuralgia after facelift

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I agree . This will decrease and probably stop in time. Lyrica and neurontin should help in the meantime. It is only a temporary annoyance

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Burning pain after facelift

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Sounds like post op neuralgia. It resolves with time but to help you until then I would recommend lyrica or neurontin. The nerves have been irritated and need time to settle.

Severe pain 9 weeks after a facelift

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Judging by the quality and the location of your pain, it sounds like a postoperative neuralgia.  The sensory nerve that supplies sensation to the areas you are complaining about is in the area of surgical dissection and might have been irritated by the procedure.  I assume there are no signs of infection such as redness, discharge, fever, etc. Anti-neuralgia medications such as Neurontin, Carbamazepine, or Lyrica are a valid option at this time.  These symptoms should resolved once the nerve function returns to normal.

Alexander Ovchinsky, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

I'm 9 Weeks Post Op Following a Face/neck Lift with Significate Pain Around my Ears, Face and Neck (Under Entire Jaw Line)?

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 The severe burning sensation sounds like you may be developing hypertrophic scars along the Face Lift incision lines.  You should go back to the plastic and cosmetic surgeon to evaluate how the scars are healing and to recommend treatment if they are the cause of your discomfort.  Burning or itching along the incision lines is and indication of an over active healing response and hypertrophic scar tissue formation that requires treatment and intervention.  

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

Relief from Nerve Pain

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Sorry to hear of your post-op pain (neuralgia).

The burning is characteristic of nerve irritation, which can occur after any procedure.

  • The good news is that these symptoms usually clear fairly quickly as the post-op tissue swelling and tightness resolve.
  • Sometimes, a short course of anti-inflammatories, including steroid medication can be very helpful in reducing the intensity and duration of pain.
  • There are medications (like Lyrica)  that can work particularly well for neuralgia, but like any medication, they can also have side effects.

Ask your surgeon if you might benefit from one of these medications.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Nerve Pain after Facelift

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   Although this may only be temporary, Neurontin or Lyrica may be beneficial during the recovery period.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Pain around ears, face and neck 9 weeks after facelift

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What you describe could be a form of neuralgia. Neuralgia results from irritation to a nerve, and can be caused by trauma to an area, including surgery. Symptoms may appear as follow:

1) Your skin may be more sensitive in the area of the irritated nerve
2) You may have sharp shooting pains along the affected nerve
3) You may feel numbness along the nerve


Anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen or ibuprofen may help, and there are also specific medications that can address the neuralgia.  This is an issue that usually takes care of itself fairly quickly, and the best thing you can do for now is control the pain and symptoms of the condition.  At this point, I would recommend following up with your surgeon to discuss your symptoms. He or she may be able to recommend some treatment options or provide a referral to a pain specialist that will make you more comfortable. Thanks and good luck!

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.