Ear Numbness on One Side After Lower Facelift?

I had a lower face lift 9 weeks ago. One ear is still virtually, completely numb. I have feeling inside the ear, near and around the entrance to the canal - but none on the lobe or sides or top of the ear. At the very top of the lobe, where it connects to the opening of the ear area, I have a very slight sensation in a tiny spot. I am concerned about permanent nerve damage. The other ear has regained at least 80% sensation. What should I expect?

Doctor Answers (5)


The greater auricular nerve can be affected by neck surgery.
Most of the time numbness resolves as swelling & inflammation go away.
Occasionally numbness can be permanent but this is rare.

Sarasota Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Numbness of Ear Lobe 9 Weeks after Facelift


   Numbness of the ear at 9 weeks may be due to neuropraxic injury and should improve over several months to a year. 

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Ear numbness following lower facelift


It is not abnormal to feel numbness around the ear at 9 weeks following a lower facelift. Numbness may be caused by temporary nerve damage, which will usually resolve itself within 6 months to a year following surgery. It may take even longer for a complete recovery, but it really depends on the patient and the extent of their surgery. It is too soon to tell whether or not any nerve damage you are experiencing is permanent, but this will rarely be the case. I would recommend speaking with your surgeon regarding the issues you are experiencing. He/she may be able to provide some additional insight. Thank you, and best of luck with the remainder of your recovery!

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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Ear numbness after face lift


Numbness of the facial region is normal after a face lift. Most sensation will eventually return to normal. This may take months to occur. There are time that ear may remain numb for an extended period of time, permanent numbness is possible but rare. You are still early so give it more time and see if there is slow return of sensation.

Shahriar Mabourakh, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
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Numbness in ear after lower facelift


It is still early and you are still in the healing process. The numbness in your ear on one side after your lower facelift is rather common. The fact that sensation has returned in the other ear is also encouraging, but certainly bring this question up with your surgeon and he/she can make sure you are healing as planned.

Carlo Honrado, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.