Temporary Facial Weakness
Some patients may experience temporary facial weakness after surgery. This occurs because nerves don’t like being touched, and the nerves have to be moved during surgery. Please do not get discouraged if you have facial weakness, as this is temporary and should resolve over time.
As the sensory nerves recover from surgery, it is common for patients to feel a variety of unusual sensations on their face, such as:
- Phantom Itching
- Jolts of Pain
- Feeling of things crawling under the skin or dancing across the face
It is important for patients to realize that it may take several months for temporary facial weakness to get better. Nerves are very slow to recover, and there is no reliable way to make the nerves recover more quickly.
The time it takes for nerves to recover varies by patient. It can take six weeks for the nerves to start to get better. It can take six months or longer for them to fully recover.
The facial nerves usually do not come back in gradual stages. It is not unusual for the facial nerve to not work one day, and then suddenly start working again the next day.
Patients are often given facial exercises to practice after surgery to help the nerves recover.
Some patients may experience difficulty closing their eyelid after surgery. It is very important that patients who can’t properly close their eye take steps to protect their eye.
The blinking mechanism of the eye is important to keep particles out of the eye and to keep the eye moist. Patients may be given eye drops/ointment, may be told to tape their eye shut at night, and/or may have to wear glasses during the day to keep particles out of the eye.