Q: Dr. Eppley, I had cheek implants and facial liposuction two weeks ago. Since my procedure I can’t feel my upper lip and it still doesn’t move like its supposed to with no improvement since the first day after surgery. Is it highly likely something was transected or the fat closer to my lip was removed along with the nerves? The doctor did it through the same incision used for my cheek implants implants rather than one further back and it concerns me both sensory and motor function are absent from the same spot and there has been no recovery in more than two weeks.
A: It is not rare that numbness and facial muscle movement are temporarily impaired after cheek implants, particularly when it is combined with facial liposuction. It would be highly unlikely that any nerves were transected. But it could easily take up to three months or longer after the procedure for both normal facial feeling and lip movement to return. Two weeks is way to early for these small facial nerves to ‘wake up’ and begin functioning. Your sense of what is normal and how nerve recovers is understandably limited to this present experience. But it takes much longer to return to normal that most patients think after any form of midface surgery including cheek implants.
Dr. Barry Eppley