Question: Is facial paralysis a possible complication of the facelift?
Answer: Injury to the facial nerve, which can result in facial weakness and drooping, is an infrequent but potential complication of a facelift. Facial paralysis, where the entire nerve is permanently damaged, is very rare. More often it is a branch of the facial nerve that is injured, leading to weakness and drooping in a particular area of the face. There is some overlap in the facial nerve branches, so that another branch can help compensate for the deficit. Many nerve injuries are not permanent and will recover over weeks to months. When facelift is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, the risk of injury to the facial nerve is very low, and in the rare event that it would occur, can often be treated by that plastic surgeon.