I can't feel my right ear after facelift. Is that normal?

My surgery was 18 days ago & included an upper and lower eye lid lift. Do I need a face lift revision (I am not satisfied with the result)?

Doctor Answers 13

Faceoft - right ear is numb

Thank you for your question about your face lift.

You need to let your surgeon know that your right ear is numb -
There is a nerve to the ear that can be damage during face lift surgery - by surgery, stretch or swelling.
Time will tell the extent to which it will recover.
At 18 days, you absolutely cannot judge your final result -
You are very swollen and it appears you had a laser resurfacing of your face as well.
Let your surgeon know of your concerns but be patient and let yourself heal.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Ear numbness and facelift

A numb ear after facelift is relatively common and it will improve over time. 

The greater auricular nerve branches give sensation to the ear and the area around it. 

Frequently the nerve is stretched and occasionally cut during a facelift. The good news is that the sensation will improve over time. Some say it takes 6 months to a year. Everyone is different.

It's important to keep all of your follow-up appointments, so your surgeon can keep you on course for a good result. The surgery was just the first step. Healing well is equally important.

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Needs time

Numbness improves with time.
It is concerning that only one ear is numb, but even that can recover a lot in the next few months.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


Thank you for your question. It is not unusual for the ear to be numb for the first two weeks after surgery, especially because incisions are usually made underneath the ear to ensure that they are hidden after the healing process. Please follow your surgeon's recovery guidelines and find comfort knowing that patients experience the most swelling and bruising during the first two weeks after surgery. Always consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Ear numb after facelift surgery: is this normal?

It is relatively common to experience numbness in the ear after facelift surgery depending on the technique used, and in my experience will always recover, usually within a few months.   Your scars in front of the ears are still very fresh, and although very visible, should fade with time. Moving the scars to the edge of your tragus and ear margin can make them less visible if they remain troublesome over time. The asymmetry of your eyes is probably just due to swelling. It is much too early to consider revision...you need to wait a couple of months to fully evaluate the results.

Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Some numbness after a face lift can be expected

Hi – thank you for your question.

The numbness in your ear is one of the most common side effects of nerve damage from a face lift, along with numbness of the face, difficulty in making certain facial expressions, and drooping of either the mouth or cheek. Fortunately, the most temporary nerve damage that occurs from a facelift will be resolved within six to twelve months. Typically, such nerve damage is forgiving, and most patients have a complete recovery. Nerve damage manifests at for at least a year after the procedure.

Do hold off for any other surgery for up to a year after the original procedure. To lessen the chances of nerve damage, do your research and go to a reputable and board certified surgeon.

Jan Zemplenyi, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

I can't feel my right ear after facelift. Is that normal?

At this point, is is too early to judge the results. The numbness may take some time to resolve. Keep follwoing up with your surgeon. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Is it normal for ear to feel numb after facelift?

There can be some temporary numbness to the ear after a facelift. In most cases, this will gradually resolve over time, but it can take several months.  Seeing as how your facelift was done 2 1/2 weeks ago, it is too early to make any judgement on your results.  It will take several months for the healing to occur before you will get a better idea of your true appearance.  Based on your photos, I would say you appear to be healing very well at this point in time.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Face Lift Post Op

Way too early to think about secondary surgery.  Still a lot of swelling present.  You really need to give it at least 6 weeks to determine how you feel about the procedure.  If your left ear is "numb" however that can be a sign of damage to a sensory or feeling nerve called the greater auricular.  It is easily damaged in face lift surgery.

S. Randolph Waldman, MD
Lexington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

I cannot feel my ears 18 days after a facelift

Swelling and numbness are normal in most cases.  This should resolve over the next months.  18 days is generally too early to judge the complete results of a facelift.  Your photos appear normal for you stage.

I would expect continued improvement with time.

Ernest Robinson, MD
Aliso Viejo Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.