My facial pain experience

Hello everybody, I’m new here and thought I’d go ahead and share my experience with facial pain. My story is probably a bit different than most others’ on here because my chronic pain is the result of a surgery, a sliding genioplsty (chin advancement) to be precise. I had the surgery in February 2014 with Dr. Nima Massoomi of San Francisco Surgical Arts. While the bone healed normally, I’ve suffered from chronic nerve pain ever since the surgery. It’s basically the same every day: I wake up and my pain is relatively mild (around a 2) then by late afternoon it’s around a 4 or 5. My pain feels like a tightness. The pain docs I’ve seen suspect that the surgery injured the nerves in my chin in such a way that they keep sending pain signals to my brain even though I am way past the healing period.

I’ve seen three facial pain specialists and have had multiple treatments: gabapentin, tegretol, flexeril, multiple kinds of nerve blocks, TENS, CBD, Cymbalta, Boswellia, physical therapy, OTC as well as prescription pain meds, and Botox in the mentalis muscle. The only thing that helps temporarily is topical anesthetics like benzocaine or lidocaine that I apply in my mouth over where the incision was. I still take tegretol because I feel like my pain is somewhat better with it, but it by no means makes it go away.

As you can imagine, this surgery is the biggest regret of my life and it’s hard to distract myself from the pain. It feels really hopeless at times. Was wondering if anyone on here has had a similar experience or advice to offer.

Thanks so much.

Hello! Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you can find some help. My pain was very similar to yours, I had sinus surgery and the nerves were damaged and ever since the surgery I had a constant facial pain that never went away. I tried a huge amount of medications, neve blocks etc which all failed. However 2 years ago I had Partial Sensory Rhizotomy which worked!! This took about 2 years before the pain went away fully, it went away very slowly. I had the pain for over 6 years but finally 95% pain free! I hope you can find some help and become pain free aswell

Hi there Jessie, thanks for writing. A rhizotomy seems like it would be a drastic move in my case. I read that it can cause pain and numbness in the limbs after it is done—did this happen to you?

Hi. I do have some numbness since the surgery. Half my lip and chin is numb. This can cause a bit a tingling and can sometimes be pain. However this normally doesn’t bother me and is nothing compared to the constant pain I had before the surgery

Ah ok, I read some more about it and I’m guessing they went in locally instead of through your spine? I think I’m going to ask my pain doc about nerve ablation but I would be concerned about permanent numbness as I already have numbness in my lower teeth and part of my chin as a result of the surgery.