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How to Tell if Theres an Infection After Otoplasty?

I had an otoplasty 10 days ago. My left ear looks great and seems to be healing well my right ear is still swollen inside and behind. And today it seemed more sore than usual so i looked behind my ear and there a light green crusting flakying? My sutures were takn out day 5. Im just nervous that its infected. What are the signs of an infection and is it normal for one ear to be really swollen and for the other not to be?

Doctor Answers (3)

Infection of ear?

+1

An infection usually manifests as pain and redness and sometimes drainage. It is best to be seen in person to be properly evaluated.


Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Classic Signs of Surgical Infection

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In medical school, physicians learn the classic signs of infection in Latin: "Rubor, Calor, Dolor, Tumor". These stand for redness, heat, pain, and swelling. If a surgical wound develops these signs beyond the 3rd day and they seem to be getting worse, chances are you might have an infection. Add to these signs a 5th sign, colored drainage (green, yellow, brown) and you've got your answer. See your doctor- you might benefit from a culture, an antibiotic, and wound care instructions. And don't fret...if treated early, you'll do great!   

Randolph Capone, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Possible infection after otoplasty

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It is not at all unusual for one ear to heal faster than the other after bilateral otoplasty.  The potential signs of an infection would be redness, tenderness, swelling and pain, with possible drainage.  A fever would also be indicative of a possible infection.  The light green crusting you describe does not sound like an infection.  There is really no way to know for certain if you have an infection or not without examining you.  Since you are concerned, I would contact your surgeon to discuss your issue and let him or her decide if you need to be seen.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.