Ask a doctor

My Ear is Detaching After Facelift is This Common?

Following a facelift my ear became detached for about a quarter of an inch at the bottom at day 12. I went back to the surgeon who said to leave it alone and it did right itself but how common is that?

Doctor Answers 11

Ear detachment after facelift can occur and usually heals well

Thank you for your question.  Fortunately your surgeon most likely secured the ear to the face with deep sutures and the opening below the year closed by itself with healing. 

Detachment of the ear following facelift can occur but is relatively unusual.  The important point is that your surgeon handled this issue properly and you did heal.  In over 30 years I have never seen an ear detachment after facelift that required re-suturing or corrective surgery severe experience is normal.

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

195 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02116

Detached earlobe is a normal planned maneuver during facelift.

One of the ways to create a natural curvature the earlobe is to leave the bottom in sutured to the cheek skin. When this heals over a week or so a normal lobe forms.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

365 East Paces Ferry Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

Ear Lobe Separation After Facelift

It is not common for the ear lobe to separate from the face after a facelift, but it can happen.  Follow your Plastic Surgeon's post operative instructions.  If needed, he may have to do a minor revision surgery under local in an office setting.  Best wishes for a fast recovery!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

980 Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30342

My earlobe detached from my face!

 Dear Blueashworth,

thank  you for your post.  This is not common, but not unheard of.  With the seperation of the lobe from the face skin, there will be a contraction that occurs (i.e. the 1/4 inch separation will grow smaller with time) but there will probably be a thicker scar in this area.  This can be revised once it is healed.

Best Wishes,

Pablo PRichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

8900 Raintree
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Ear lobe separation after face lift

Thank you for asking about ear lobe separation after your face lift.

  1. Your face lift surgeon gave you the right advice.
  2. This is not common but happens from time to time.
  3. If the ear lobe had not self-corrected, it can be correct with local anesthesia in the office but this is not often needed. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

2045 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

Earlobe detachment after facelift

This is fairly common and generally not a problem.  Many surgeons, including myself, will not suture the earlobes really tightly to avoid a "pixie ear" deformity.

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

450 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA 94108

Earlobe detachment after facelift

This is seen every once in a while in my practice and should not be a problem.  Your surgeon did the right thing (nothing) and I would expect your aesthetic result to be as good as if it never happened. 

Carey Nease, MD
Chattanooga Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

1405 Cowart Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Your surgeon's advice is sound.

Undoubtedly you surgeon had earlobe supported with suture.  Low grade infection or other mechanical issues can delay healing.  Sewing this back together at this point can be ok or it can lead to a focal incision infection.  For this reason it is often best to allow these to heal on their own.  If a repair is necessary, it can be done once things have healed more.  In many cases the area heals well on its own without additional work.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

9001 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211


In a recent study 65% of patients had some ear related issue after facelift surgery but almost all resolve in time, so its very common

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

214 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10012

Earlobes after facelift

Dear Blueashworth,

  1. I agree with the other surgeons and this will heal well
  2. If there are any issues, it is very easy to correct in the office
  3. There is nothing that should be done now other than local care for the wound


Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

201 South Lasky Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

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.