Hi, I'm a teenager who's just had the second procedure for facial palsy reanimation, where a muscle from my thigh was inserted into the left side of my face. I had my surgery a week ago and my face looks really swollen up. Like really badly. Worse than before, I actually regret undergoing the surgery. I'm really really worried about this... can anyone please advise me of the process they underwent and how long this took. My docs keep telling me it's okay , I've spent a while crying too but I just want some reassurance from someone who's been through this/is aware of this. I have a secured place at university which I will begin towards September and I'm feeling really anxious. would really appreciate a response from anyone.
Effect of cross facial nerve animation - Facial Palsy UK
Facial Palsy UK
I haven't had this surgery but... L
I would imagine it's still early days and the swelling will go down, my Bell's palsy as left me with my eye closing, watering and nose running every time l eat or drink... wish something could be done about that, l have learned, it's been a year now, that it's your personality that matters and shines through, that people remember
Hi.....my name is Jacki.....I also bells palsy.....it was a year Dec. 3. Its affected my right side of my face. Its made it really di\fficult to eat, drink, kiss, whistle, and my mouth droops on the right side. For me the worst is the damage its done to my right eye & vision. Its hard to keep my right eye open when I drink, smile or talk....the nerve behind my rg ear across middle of my face hurts, aches/ & burns ninj-stop. I dont know what to do if there is anything that would help. Its been very changelling. confidence was never to much of a problem for me.....but it is now. It has affected my speech also. If you can relate to my story Id really appreciate anything someone could share.
Hello, this page may help give you some information about what to expect regarding recovery:
Also, there is a group that is not part of the charity on Facebook (although I am one of the admin team on there) which is just for people who had facial palsy in childhood. There are many people in that group who will have been through similar surgeries. It may be worth joining to have a chat on there:
Note that someone will message anyone who requests to join the group to check their reason for wanting to join, this is to ensure it's kept a safe place. Keep an eye on your messages and respond as necessary if you request to join.
It is early days after your surgery and I hope you start to see the swelling go down soon.
Hi, I had this surgery last year too. I was also shocked over the amount of swelling there was in the first couple of months. It does go down though so try not to worry too much. I was 22 at the time and just started work having just graduated so I know how you feel. Its definitely worth having it done and you wouldn't want to wait another 3 years before undergoing it. I know the timing is not ideal for you but you will be fine. Try and keep positive.
Hi thank you so much for the response! Feeling quite positive reading this. I have a few questions if you don't mind please. So how long did it take for the swelling to go down (approximately how many months please?) Also did you usually get a pressurised feeling, it's kind of hard to describe...? And lastly are you pleased with result (has it actually helped as in better than before the surgery?)
Apologies for the array of questions but I'm feeling really anxious 😕
Ermmm I think the majority went down within a couple months but I still had some residual swelling for a few months after that. Yeah I think I got that feeling If i can remember, It still feels slightly different now but I think you get use to it. Yeah my smile is 100% more symmetrical. I need to have a small follow up surgery in a couple of weeks as I've got some scar tethering, so once that's finished I'll get the complete finished result (finally). Hope this helps..
I have had the same surgery back in 2006, when I was 6 years old. It's a long, long process, because I believe my last surgery for my face was in 2014. The first couple procedures have very little to do with the cosmetic part of the surgery, honestly they are there more for motor functions. The first is the nerve transplant, followed by a muscle graph. (I believe, not entirely sure, I was 6 you know...) These surgeries took about two years to recover from, and the swelling takes months to go down. The next procedure they might do for you would be a gold-weight? This procedure is to help close your eyelid. I denied this surgery, because my plastic surgeon said it could weigh my eye down since I'm still developing.
However, after a couple years when you are fully recovered from the surgery, they will offer to do a surgery similar to a liposuction (just without the hose). The goal of this surgery is to remove fat surround the muscle, and hopefully reduce the "fullness" of the affected side of the face. After this procedure, they let this sit for a few months for the swelling to go down. If the side is still to "full" to your liking, they may offer to fill in the good side of your face to even it out.
I was offered this surgery as well, but I denied it, because I felt like my face was full enough, and I really did not want to touch the good side of my face.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of how long these processes take. Of course your condition may not need all this treatment I listed, but it may be good to bring up these procedures the next time you talk to your doctor.
I recently had the second stage muscle graft 4 weeks ago. Face still swollen and looks and feels very "full" but am told it will go back to how it was within 2 months
Wounded101 how is your recovery going?
hi, my recovery is going well thanks, its been exactly five months for me and my physiotherapist has given me some exercises to start on - the swelling has gone down a lot compared to the beginning (although it is still apparent unfortunately). Haven't seen any difference in facial movement either so waiting on that.
All the best with your recovery.
thanks for the reply. How apparent is the swelling - does yr face look very different to how it was before the op?
yes my face was even before the surgery and currently its more swollen on the affected side.
oh. will it go back to even did they say?
Hi I'm new on here and I've had BP for over 5 yrs from when I was pregnant with my first daughter.I'm looking into the same procedure(cross facial nerve graft) but I'm not sure where to be reffered and which doctor to see. Any help would be much appreciated thanks.
Hi I’m due to have second op soon “before Christmas” apparently) how did you go Wounded, has swelling gone down/ smile gone up???
My apologies, I hadn't see this... I assume you've had your surgery now, how are you getting along?
For me, the swelling has gone down mostly and the smile is forming better than before, although not symmetrical as such - I may be having a final surgery to remove the bulkiness and tighten the muscle..
great news that your swelling has gone down and smile forming. guess i just have to be patient.
Did you go for the second op? I have recovered and smile is almost symmetrical but I do have quite a bit of bulkiness and need to tighten the muscle. Would love to hear from you or anyone else who has had this second surgery.
Hello, I did speak to my consultant about an op to remove the business but he advised it could possibly limit the transplanted muscle function. So I left it and the bulk has definitely gone down a lot, mostly noticeable when smiling.
Oh that’s great to hear! Thank you for sharing. How long did it take for the bulk to go down? I don’t have bulk at rest, just when smiling. Thank you
I am not a physician but we use a homeopathic remedies and one called arnica can help tremendously with the swelling...look up homeopathy online and you can buy remedies locally or online. It is amazing medicine and is all natural. I wish you the best as this must be frustrating. There are a ton of remedies....one called Calms Forte can help with the stress....Happy healing .....
How has it all settled in? I just had this operation done 9 days ago. The face swelling is big, but I feel it healing. I'm more worried about the leg swelling. How long did it take you to be able to walk around well and do exercise? How long were you on pain killers for?
Hello Sophie, it's now been 3 years since my op so I dont recall much but but I think itll be a months or so as I remember talking to my physiotherapist and asking her if I'm safe to go to the gym! So maybe 2 months I would say until it's almost normal... and now my leg although its fully healed it feels a bit odd because the sensation is lost but I cant really tell on a day to day basis unless I remind myself!
All the best
Thank you so much, Em, for your prompt reply. Yes, I know that feeling - I had the nerve graft done 5 years ago and I still feel that, however, it does not hinder my life. Thanks again.
All the best!
I just wanted to update for anyone else’s interest - I could walk properly about 3-4 weeks after operation and very lightly. My swelling took 6 weeks to go down. I had a bit of neuropraxia - bruising to nerve above eyebrow - it healed. Numbness is ongoing but more minor now. Tightness in cheek/muscle. Intense operation, not fully sure I’d choose again if I could go back, but maybe too early to say?
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