Will Ear Fully Recover from Surgery After Assault?

I was assaulted last week and needed 25 stitches to my left ear. The glass pierced the cartilage. Will the ear go back to its original size and shape? 1 week after surgery the ear is swollen, larger and sticking out more than before the assault. It is numb to the touch. The ridges are bruised with a slight 'cauliflower' effect. Will the ear look like it used to with time? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 5

One week after ear trauma

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Your ear looks pretty good one week after a trauma.  Once the swelling goes down fully, which could take several weeks, then you could have the laceration scar at the top of your ear reevaluated.  This minor scar notch can be revised if it is prominent.  Note that you do not have cauliflower ear....cauliflower is a much worse condition where the cartilages of your ear have melted away from lack of blood supply or infection, and the ear has an amorphous shape resembling a cauliflower.

Healing after ear repair

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Dear Ter22,

This all looks normal after one week.  I follow my trauma patients for at least 6-12 months and scars change throughout that time.  You will see that as the swelling goes down, the ear will move back close to its original place and the areas that were cut will heal pretty well.  There will always be a faint line of a scar, but it won't be too obvious to people even at conversational distance.

Just be patient and let it heal, everything should be fine


Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

You appear to have had excellent ear reconstruction after your trauma.

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Based on the photo of your left ear, I doubt you will have a significant deformity. You're still a bit swollen, and my hunch is that you will be happy with the appearance of your ear in another 2-3 weeks.

Regards from NJ.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 430 reviews

Ear injury after assault

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The ear is pushed forward by swelling and is very common after almost any surgery to the outer ear or mastoid.  It should return back to normal after several weeks.  It  is hard to tell from the photo but there doesn't appear to be a hematoma which is a collection of blood adjacent to the cartilage.  If you have any question visit an ear specialist or facial plastic surgeon soon so that if there is a hematoma, it can be drained and cauliflower ear formation prevented.   The sensation should recover but may take several months.  It should look fairly normal as the landmarks are restored nicely but there will always be some minor scarring from the lacerations.  Hope it all turns out well.   

Mark Loury, MD, FACS
Fort Collins Facial Plastic Surgeon

Repair of ear after trauma

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Althoug your picture is too distant to give any details of the repair and the details of the problem to which you are aluding, I would say that your ear nearly certainly will improve. At seven days after an injury, I would expect swelling and bruising.  You need to give it several months to get the  final results, but from the detail I can see in the photos, I think you will be fine. 

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