Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 62 years old and I had a facelift done six weeks ago. I still have very dense numbness on both sides of my face which goes as far forward as my cheeks and straight down to and under my neck as far forward as my chin? Is this normal and, if so, when will it go away?
A: When performing a facelift, the skin is raised up extensively to access the SMAS layer and well as to remove lax face and neck skin. Anytime the skin is undermined the tiny nerves that supply feeling to it are cut. This will result in numbness of the overlying skin that will persist for some time after surgery. Most if not all of the feeling will return but it will take time to do so. The return of feeling will begin in the most medial skin areas near the chin and nose and will work its way slowly back towards the ear. This is a process that will take months, often as long as six months to achieve maximal sensation return. In some patients they will be a small area of permanent numbness that may remain right in front of the ear.
Dr. Barry Eppley