Is it possible to correct ear distortion (tragus?) after facelift? (photos)

Is it possible to correct ear distortion (tragus?) after facelift? My doctor says its not possible to correct. Do you know exact correction method? If any additional scar should be expected? If revision facelift is possible during ear correction? Before/after ear pictures have been attached.

Doctor Answers 12

Tragal Correction After Facelift

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Loss of tragal definition is a common tell tale sign of facelift surgery often seen in those not as skilled in the procedure though there can be many reasons to see this. Make sure you select a plastic surgeon experienced in facelift revisions. This can usually be fixed under local anesthesia. See the following link on how to find the best plastic surgeon to restore your tragus.

Ear deformity after facelift

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Yes, the ear can be corrected.  The tragal area can be contoured appropriately and the skin advanced to create a tragal notch below the tragus.  The lobule can also be posteriorly displaced to help restore the previous appearance.  Seek out a facelift expert in your community that performs several different types of facelifts and specializes in facelift revisions.

Correction of Tragal Distortion after Facelift

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Yes, it is possible to correct or improve the distortion of the ear tragus, in most cases. The remedy depends on the cause. There are typically two common reasons for the distortion, and sometimes it's due to one, sometimes both.


In one scenario the surgeon removes all or a portion of the tragus while elevating (separating) the skin from the tragus.  The tragus is cartilage. Reconstruction can be attempted with fillers if only a small portion of the cartilage was removed.  However, if most or all of the cartilage was removed then fillers typically provide only marginal improvements.  Fillers are "gel" or "paste" like.  A cartilage graft (which is solid and "firm") can and should be used to re-establish the tragal contour when a significant portion of the tragus is gone.

The second scenario is when the tragus remains but thicker skin now covers the tragus and the area in front of the tragus, creating a "blunting" or loss of the prominence of the tragus. The skin covering the tragus is typically thin.  Re-opening the incision and thinning the skin and re-contouring the area in front of the tragus can help re-establish the tragal contour and remove the distortion.

Please be aware that sometimes more than one treatment option may need to be applied to achieve a better looking tragus.

I hope this helps.

Timothy R. Miller, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

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Filler injection to correct ear tragus loss after facelift

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Based on your photograph the easiest and most effective method to restore the tragus of your year following your facelift would be filler injection.  Radiesse is a long lasting filler however the new filler Voluma, is supposed to last even longer.

Poor incision placement

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your incision would usually be placed infront of the cartilage so that bearded skin is not advanced into the ear. It would also have left your tragal anatomy intact. I would repair this with Calcium Hydroxapatite (Radiesse) filler injection, maybe after needle subsicion of the scar.

Male patients are generally better served by a pre-tragal incision.

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Advancement of the thick skin of the face bearing a beard can obscure the tragus after a facelift in a male. The tragus is there. The skin will need to be sent for it to show itself. Laser hair removal may be a some benefit as well. This can be avoided with a contoured pretragal incision.

Tragal Revision

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Thank you  for your picture.  In my experience the best treatment for this is prevention.  This is a lack of understanding the technique for maximal tragal protection.  Unfortunately, there is very little that can be done to correct this now.  

Earl Stephenson,Jr, MD, DDS,FACS

Correction of tragus deformity from facelift

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Your scars are not visible on the photos and I am not sure how far out you are following surgery. Usually in male facelifting the tragus is not altered and so I am unsure where the scar has been placed. If you are looking to have a revision facelift then it may be worth trying to correct things. If you are not long out and are looking for just for a scar revision I would wait some time for the swelling to settle.   

Is it possible to correct an ear deformity after a facelift?

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Correction of your deformity is possible after a facelift. It can be performed as a minor procedure in a clinic. Mild undermining may be required to posteriorly displace the earlobe. Consult a facial plastic surgeon for more details.

Garrison V. Morin, MD
Winchester Facial Plastic Surgeon

Tragal Deformity after Facelift

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Your tragal distortion can be corrected by adjustment of the skin inset around the tragus. The same applies to the changes around the earlobe as well. Both can certainly be addressed during a revision facelift.

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.