Recommendations To Fix Ear Deformity After Facelift? (photo)

I had a facelift last year. My concern is the unnatural appearance of my ears. It is like the skin has been stretched to the front of my ears, then possibly not enough skin removed, leaving my lobes looking inset and an obvious face lift line which I think is an immediate "tell" my PC is going to repair in his office but has not done before so unsure of results. If you have any suggestions for this procedure it would be appreciated.

Doctor Answers 11

Correction of Abnormal Appearance Anterior to Ear After Facelift

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You are correct when you say that the excess skin and fullness in front of your ear and ear lobe are tell-tale signs of a facelift. Fortunately this can be corrected with a relatively minor procedure under local anesthesia by removing skin and thinning the skin immediately in front of your ear canal.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Defatting and proper draping of the pre-auricular skin prevents this look.

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Thank you for your question and the photos.

This is a tell-tale sign of a facelift. To correct this, you will need a pre-auricular scar revision in which the skin that overlies the tragus is defatted and redraped. It is a relatively minor procedure and can be done as an outpatient under local anesthetic.

To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Earlobe is a 'tell all' after facelift

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The change in shape of the earlobe can leave a visible sign of a facelift if not inset well. Most common problems are a 'pixie' ear with the earlobe pulled downward on the cheek. Your photo shows a fold in front of the lobe which can be repaired by taking down the scar and redraping the skin smoothly, and this should save the day. Best of luck, Peter Johnson, MD.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Face lift

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The changes of the skin infront of the ear can be addressed and corrected. It may mean reopening the face lift incision totallt and redraping the skin with attention to the tragus and the inset of the ear lobe.

If that is the only problem, then this can be done under local anesthesia.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Ear Deformity After Facelift

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The ear region can be a giveaway if not properly put back together following a facelift.  This can be revised. However, the photos you have provided cannot be enlarged to look closely at the details. The area has to be carefully revised to prevent any damage to any underlying nerves.

I would recommend that you schedule a personalized consultation with a board certified specialist in the face as this area can be fixed.  

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Several different ways to revise this appearance

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This is not an unusual outcome after facial surgery about the ear.

Even if the ear looks perfect at surgery, it can change with healing to create an appearance like your pictures show.

The style of revision depends on several issues which do not show on the photos - the thickness of the earlobe, the healing of the incision behind the ear, and the existing appearance of the other ear.

This can include shaping the lobe, removing a "wedge" from the lobe, etc.

Your plastic surgeon will need to decide the exact style depending on his findings.

It should work out well.

Dr. Mayl

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

The earlobe and facelifts

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Distortion of the earlobe is not uncommon following a facelift.  The earlobes can look stretched out or like like they are being dragged down.  This is easy to avoid as well as fix, but many plastic surgeons ignore this very important part of the facelift.  The earlobe has to be properly shaped as part of the lift and sometimes even reduced.  When correcting the problem it is pretty straightforward but usually includes redoing much of the lift to get everything fitting properly.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Face lift incision and unwanted ear appearance

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You can do this but I would go to a facial plastic surgeon that can more accurately approach this situation. The skin in front of your ear is thicker and needs to be thinned in that area. A careful reclosure and elevation of skin in the area will help as well. But there are many things to know in this area or you could have more serious issues like facial nerve damage etc.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Correcting ear deformity, a the "tell-tale" sign of a facelift

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According to the photos shown, there are multiple issues that are present.  The temporal hairline has been shifted unnaturally upward and a loss of the temporal tuft and sideburn has occurred from the previous facelift.  In addition, the angle of inclination and axis of the ear has been brought too far forward, causing the earlobe to be more anterior and stretched.  The earlobe has also been elongated significantly and there is blunting of the tragus. 

The surgical repair for this type of problem is complicated but in experienced hands is relatively straightforward.  First, it is impossible to bring down the temporal hairline without hair transplants.  Second, blunting of the tragus can be repaired by thinning down the dermis over that area and re-draping the skin.  The entire skin area in front of the ear and a portion behind the ear will need to be re-draped.  The earlobe will need to be reduced, reset, and the entire axis of deviation of the lower portion of the ear will need to be set more posteriorly to restore normal orientation and axis to the ear.  Dermal thinning of the area in front of the earlobe will also need to be performed.  Some undermining of the anterior portion of the skin in the cheek will have to be performed to gain enough traction on the skin to stretch the earlobe posteriorly.  This can be all done under a local anesthesia if needed.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Telltale scar of a facelift

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The issue is the original incision and inset of the earlobe. The skin needs to be redraped with a reinset of the earlobe. I would address your concerns with the original surgeon as a start. If you are not satisfied then look for a board certified plastic surgeon.

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.