SEVERE SYMMETRICAL tightness Post op 6 1/2 mo.s "traditional neck lift." Face/ears/neck feel in constant strain/cramp
"Traditional Neck lift" was early Jan 2018. I have communicated concern to my ENT PS about a month ago and seems baffled. I understand it's rare, (even though I have observed numerous people expressing exact same complaints as I, on many forums). PS is known to be quite reputable, highly respected in the Twin Cities and highly recommended, (i did my research). Thus, coming to this site. I do know sx included the SMAS. My face/neck looks fine and tissue seems soft, free of lumps. Chin scar is healing nicely. There are no trigger points, so not thinking a neuroma, as the painful clamping/tightness is symmetrical and unremitting. I've never felt such horrific discomfort in my entire life as it feels very much like taking duct tape or saran wrap tightly pulled around ears, lower face and neck... pulling every which way in tightness. My hearing/ears still feels congested and ears popping. ENT says they look great. I have young children and it's very distressful to be in pain while trying to be a level headed Mommy. I've read the various MD's defer to a "chronic pain MD' and not really attend to the issue. The pain MD would not be able to attend to this, if the PS is baffled. Is there an good hearted PS that would be willing to throw out some med journals (related to complaints of chronic tightness pain), that might be helpful or suggest the names of anatomy/muscles/tendons involved that could potentially cause this distressful tightness? Would this tightness potentially be related to overaggressive dissection, if so what exactly is being dissected? There is no mesh or ear to ear connection. Or could there be any other etiology for this agonizing torment? The tightness feels like an alien entity is constantly pulling on me ears, face and neck. Please help give some thoughts.
I can't give you any direct medical advice or treatment recommendations without an in-person consultation, but a tight sensation in the neck is a very common symptom following a neck lift. The restrictive muscle tension in your neck and face are typically the direct result of the platysma muscle being tightened during the neck lift procedure. It's unusual, however, for this sensation to last for such a long period postoperatively. In most cases, the feeling of neck and facial tension should have disappeared within a few weeks of the procedure.
Without knowing the specifics of your surgery, I can't offer you any insight into what may be causing this issue. In some cases, plastic surgeons use a horizontal suture which crosses the neck from one side to the other. In my experience, this type of suture places too much stress on the neck and sometimes causes excessive muscle tightness and pain which extends into surrounding areas.
In my own practice I’ve never seen a case where revision surgery was necessary, but it’s always possible. If you feel you aren’t getting the best answers from your current doctor, you should consider consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon for a second opinion.
Dr. Robert N. Young has 2 Facelift before & afters:
I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing discomfort after your neck lift surgery. Having performed hundreds of these procedures I can assure you that it's normal to experience some degree of tightness and neck and facial tension afterward. In most cases the tension symptoms in your neck and facial muscle (or the "choking feeling" in your neck muscles) go away within a few weeks of the procedure.
Based on your description your symptoms don’t sound normal. Without an examination I obviously can't say for sure what the issue is, but you should be experiencing relief from the standard postoperative neck or facial tightness by now. If your current plastic surgeon isn’t offering you satisfactory guidance, I would consider seeking a second opinion from a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing neck lift procedures.
Dr. Reza Momeni has 6 Facelift before & afters: