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The Facts about Facial Surgery Nerve Damage

by | Feb 24, 2017 | Blog

The risk of facial nerve damage following a cosmetic procedure is one of many factors Dr Marcells discusses with prospective patients at our Edgecliff practice. Fortunately, correct techniques performed by an experienced facial plastic surgeon can minimise risks and keep patients both beautiful and healthy.

Advantages of the Deep Plane Facelift

The deep plane facelift has come to be known as the platinum standard for facial rejuvenation, in part because of its ability to reduce the risk of nerve damage. “During a deep plane facelift, I use my fingers rather than a scalpel in areas where there are facial nerves,” explains Dr Marcells. “This allows me to feel the actual nerves and avoid damaging them.”

A deep plane facelift does not require that the SMAS and skin be separated. Instead, Dr Marcells repositions soft tissue. This technique not only reduces damage to the nerves, it creates less bruising and pain. Finally, a deep plane facelift gives patients longer-lasting results than can be achieved with other surgical techniques.

Temporary vs. Permanent Nerve Damage after Cosmetic Surgery

When the skin is cut, whether by a surgeon’s scalpel or the edge of a sheet of paper, nerve damage can occur. Nerve damage can also occur if nerves are stretched or cauterized. There are two types of nerve damage, temporary and permanent. The most common example of temporary nerve damage can be found in the skin surrounding a scar.

With temporary nerve damage, you experience reduced sensation on the scarred skin itself, as well as on the surrounding skin. This is common and to be expected. Over time, minor and temporary nerve damage becomes barely noticeable. If a nerve is severed completely, however, numbness and the inability to move the affected muscle will be permanent.

Nerve Damage Associated with Various Procedures

When performed by an inexperienced surgeon or when the wrong surgical approach is taken, patients are at risk for a variety of nerve-related problems. Some of the most common include:

  • Eyelid Lift – Inability to close eyes
  • Chin Augmentation – Tingling in lips, chin, and/or cheeks
  • Facelift – Numbness, muscle immobility, facial drooping
  • Forehead Lift – Loss of feeling in the forehead and scalp
  • Neck Lift – Numbness in the ear area
  • Rhinoplasty – Numbness of nasal skin

Let Us Help You Decide

Don’t let fear of facial nerve damage keep you stuck in place. We encourage you to visit our practice in Edgecliff. You’ll have the opportunity to speak with an experienced professional about the risks of surgery and how they can be minimised.

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Meet Dr Marcells

MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons

Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.

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