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Will my ears ever look normal? Face/Neck lift, 3 1/2 weeks post-op (Photo)

Original Tragus and top & bottom notches are gone. New Tragus is stitched to Helix & appears to be stitched below bottom notch. PS say this is how it is done, it will look normal when all swelling subsides. PS also says pits in front of ears is standard practice & necessary. I was told not to worry about it, it'll go away. Will it? I cannot rely on my PS. I also have very limited neck movement & he says that's normal. I just submitted a question on my neck as I just don't know what to do!

Doctor Answers (10)

Healing after facelift

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Generally speaking, it can take 6 to 12 months to completely heal after a facelift procedure. I would strongly recommend speaking with your surgeon or his/her clinical team to discuss your concerns further.


Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Contour irregularities after facelift commonly a product of swelling.

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There is clearly swelling in the preauricular region after your facelift. One would expect significant improvement as the swelling subsides In the next few weeks.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Pits and Swelling after Facelift

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  Dear larkar, thank you for your question.Swelling after a facelift may persists from weeks to months, causing bumps or asymmetries to appear. In San Diego, we monitor our patients closely for one year to address any issues. Follow up with your surgeon to check if this is swelling versus something else and if treatment is indicated.  Rarely, a second opinion may help. Best of Luck.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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Swollen years are common after facelift and will return to normal

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Almost every patient who has a facelift notices that the years are swollen in the first 3-4 weeks.  This is very common and in my experience always returns to normal.  Of course check with your plastic surgeon.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Will my ears ever look normal? Face/neck lift 3 weeks post op.

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At three weeks postop you are still healing from your surgery. And from the photograph, swelling in your ear is very apparent. At this point, you have to wait. Give yourself a chance to heal. If things do not improve, recon suit with your surgeon.

Suzanne Kim Doud Galli, MD, PhD, FACS
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Face lift

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It depends on when your surgery was done, some of that could be swelling which can go away over the time, your surgeon would know better based on technique that he/she has used. 

Ali Totonchi, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Will my ears ever look normal? Face/Neck lift, 3 1/2 weeks post-op

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Yes some surgeons place a small stitch in front of the ear, which is usually an absorbable suture and this appearance improves over time. Yes it usually takes 3-5 months for swelling to go down in pretragal region.  Best to you       

Constance M. Barone, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Changes in apperance around ear after facelift

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This is an early photograph and swelling is present.  Wait 3 months an then ask yourself how you feel about the result.  In general this is a very important area.  I think a lot of attention needs to be paid to making sure this area looks normal in a facelift. 

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
San Angelo Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

It is sometimes hard to understand the importance of time in healing.

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All facelifts involve tradeoffs.  The biggest one is where to hide the scars.  To have a facelift, you have to have scars.  The questions is where best to place them.  Placing part of the scar at the edge of the tragus is an very important maneuver that helps break up the scar at the edge of the face.  You are very early from surgery.  The dimple is a deep suture that helps recreate at hollow in front of the tragus.  Right now swelling makes the tragus look a bit geometric and you see this.  However, time will soften this appearance and this will make the tragus softer and more natural.  Similarly, the deep stitch will soften allowing the dent in front of the tragus to soften.  It is hard to be patient.  Try to ease up on your plastic surgeon and give your body time to heal.  These issues will get better in time.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Rely on your plastic surgeon

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You trusted your surgeon with you face and now you say you cannot rely on him.  That is too bad.   When you have these big procedures you must accept the healing phase.  Healing takes a year.  Wound healing research has long ago proven that when a wound is made,  the healing takes one year.   At 3 weeks you are in the embryonic stages.   If you really feel you cannot trust your surgeon in the post operative period, then you should go and have  several second opinions from other ABPS surgeons.   Second opinions often help a patient gain the confidence they need to comfortably get through the healing phase.   Healing takes ONE YEAR and it cannot be rushed.  Healing is 70% at 4 months, 80% at 6 months, 90% at 9 months and basically 100 % at 12 months.  The return of sensation takes a full year and is a good measurable entity in the healing process.  My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.