Ear Otoplasty Hypertrophic or Keloid Scar?

Hi, the top part of my ear where the stitching was is swollen like the scar is swollen. My procedure was done a month ago and the doctor said it went well and everything is fine, but he saw my ears 10 days ago so it's not recent. No one in my family has had keloid scarring, I don't know about hypertrophic scarring but I haven't seen it on anyone in my family. Do you think the scar I have on the back of my ear is still healing or is this serious? It's swollen and kind of burns when I touch it.

Doctor Answers 4

I would be concerned about a possible infection

A month out from an otoplasty you could still have some tenderness but if it is increasing and burning and possibly red, then one of your sutures could be infected.  hopefully, it is a remaining skin suture and not suture holding your ears back (so-called Mustarde sutures).  if it is a deep suture, you may want to try antibiotics to hold the infection at bay for at least a few months until scar tissue forms that can hold your ear safely in position without need for the sutures.  to be extra safe i would want the sutures in place for at least 6 months to be secure about it.  if it is infected, this may mean several courses of antibiotics because once a suture is infected typically the only thing to clear the problem is removal of it, unless of course these are dissolvable sutures that would go away but most surgeons use long lasting if not permanent sutures for otoplasty.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Unsightly scars from otoplasty

Judging from your multiple previous posts, I would highly recommend that you return to your original surgeon even if they are located at a distance or at least contact them by phone. You may require surgery or steroid injections

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Hypertrophic Scars After Otoplasty

Poor scarring after an otoplasty is not unusual and be a big factor in your ability to wear hair short or pulled back in a pony tail.  Ideally, your surgeon will have closed your scar meticulously and without tension to minimize the occurrence of this.  In addition, as outlined in the other answer, close followup to determine appropriate healing is needed.  Some steps such as kenalog injections or silicone sheeting can be helpful in select cases as well.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 163 reviews

Healing takes a while.

It is common to have some swelling and redness after surgery. Most times, the swelling goes down in the first two to three weeks. The redness can go on for six months or more. However, I am concerned that you have a burning sensation. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of an infection. Hypertrophic scars settle down over several months if that is what you have now. Small sheets of silicone or injection of tiny amounts of injected steroids help resolve hypertrophic scars. Keloids are very rare. Good luck.

Bala S. Chandrasekhar, MD - RETIRED
Los Angeles 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.