6 weeks out from a facelift and I woke up with blood/fluid coming out of my ear canal. Is this normal?

it will be 6 weeks since my face lift procedure. I do have swelling under the chin area and am very concerned. I started to massage the area as told by my Doc and the first night I did this I woke up with blood/fluid (small amount) coming out of my ear canal, both ears. Is this also normal? Thank you for your answer in advance.

Doctor Answers 12

Blood from ear canal after facelift surgery

It is very common for some blood to get into the ear canal during facelift surgery. I always clean the ear canals after surgery, but it is possible for small amounts of blood to remain. The skin of the ear canal will help bring the blood to the surface where it can be noticed when cleaning the ear or face. This can happen a number of weeks after the surgery. It is important to see your surgeon just to be sure that there is nothing else going on. With regard to swelling underneath the chin, it could be normal swelling after either liposuction or muscle tightening, but your surgeon should be able to tell you more definitively.

Inland Empire Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Bloody Fluid from the Ear After Facelift

If this is related to the facelift, the most likely culprit is from blood that was either left in the ear at the time of the surgery, or that accumulated from drainage after the surgery.  Blood in the ear at the time of surgery is very common and is typically irrigated from the ear canal before dressings are put on after the surgery.  However, some drainage into the ear from facelift incisions can occur after the dressings have been applied and will drain out of the ear canal up to several weeks later.  
However, to be sure, you should have an evaluation by your surgeon to make sure there is nothing else happening that is related to the ear itself.

R. Scott Yarish, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Blood coming out of ear canal

Dear Cedelucia,

It is very unusual for any fluid to leak 6 weeks after surgery. I would see your surgeon and have a follow-up visit.
It is possible that there was a small hematoma or seroma with residual fluid that is leaking out now. Still very unusual for this to happen at 6 weeks.

Kyle S. Choe, MD
Virginia Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Fluid coming out of ears 6 weeks after face lift

Thank you so much for your question about your face lift healing.

Massage of the jaw can transmit pressure to the ear canal - and if there is fluid in the canal, it may drain.
But it is unusual to have this happen so long after surgery.
See your surgeon and have her/him check your ears to be sure there is nothing more in the ear canal and no infection.

Swelling under the jaw - like a small hard lump just behind the incision - can occur. It will subside but may take several months.

Be sure to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Here’s hoping you find this helpful. Have a great day!

Bloody drainage six weeks after facelift requires thorough investigation.

I agree with my colleagues, this could be old blood in your ear canal, it could be drainage of a fluid collection in front of your ear. It's just hard to tell anything without a good physical examination. I would contact your plastic surgeon, he/she will be able to identify the problem and help you resolving it. Good Luck

Stephen M. Davis, MD, FACS
Green Hills Plastic Surgery 

Bloody drainage six weeks after facelift requires thorough investigation.

I'm not sure why you are having the drainage you describe. This should have ceased a long time ago. Your surgeon should carefully investigate the source.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

An examinatin is needed to find the cause.

You are far enough out from your surgery where there shouldn't be any fresh bleeding.  This may be old blood which was in your ear canal since surgery or fluid from under your chin which drained out your incision and appeared to come from your ear canal.  That said, you need to return to your surgeon for an examinatin to find the real cause.  Best of luck.

Facelift blood

Impossible to determine a cause without an exam.  An in person exam of the ear canal, eardrum, and incision line around the ear is needed and should lead to the source.  Make sure to mention the color, amount and consistency of the blood you saw.

Marc Polecritti, DO
Spring Hill Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

6 weeks out from a facelift and I woke up with blood/fluid coming out of my ear canal. Is this normal?

It is very important that you see your plastic surgeon for an examination and diagnosis.  At 6 weeks post op, it is unusual to experience bleeding.  Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Blood in Ears after Facelift

It is important to determine whether the blood is truly from the ear canal or from the incisions around the ear. If you were massaging your neck and blood came out from the incisions, this is likely due to the massaging of old blood under the skin that is working its way out. Old, dark blood coming from the ear canals can be blood that clotted in your ears at surgery and is now dissolving. If you have bright blood coming from your ears, you should be examined to determine the cause.

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.