Ear Cartilage was Removed During Revision Rhinoplasty, Have Had Ear Pain Since, Normal?

I had revisionary rhinoplasty two years ago and my surgeon took out a lot of my fascia and ear cartilage to build my dorsum. Since then, I've been experiencing ear pain. Is this normal? I went to my ENT and he said there was nothing wrong, but my left ear hurts. Is this type of ear pain so long after the surgery common? What are options to make this better so it's not painful?

Doctor Answers 5

Ear Pain 2 Years after Cartilage Removal for Revision Rhinoplasty

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It is not normal to have ear pain 2 years after cartilage removal. Ear cartilage is frequently used in revision rhinoplasty, but I've never seen this problem. Possible explanations include scar contracture or persistent sensory nerve irriation. Hopefully, careful examination by your surgeon will determine the cause so alternative treatments can be discussed.

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

Ear Cartilage was Removed During Revision Rhinoplasty, Have Had Ear Pain Since, Normal?

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Not sure.  I've taken ear cartilage grafts for Rhinoplasty many times and have never heard this type of complaint, especially 2 years out.  Most likely scar tissue, from the surgery, is putting pressure on some sensory nerve of the ear.  Not much to do about it IMHO.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

The ear where cartilage is taken for rhinoplasty usually is only tender for 2-4 weeks

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Dear nosegal

You have done the right thing by having the ear evaluated. Ear cartilage sites usualy hurt for less than a 2-4 weeks, except when bumped.  Be very specific about describing the pain to your doctor the next time, with emphasis on:

  1. the exact place that you feel the pain,
  2. whether it is throbbing, sharp, or radiating;
  3. what makes it feel better,
  4. when the ear hurts the worst. and 
  5. whether it is related to when you pop your ears. 

It may be unrelated to the surgery, but have it checked out again.

Best Wishes

Travis T. Tollefson, MD, MPH
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

Ear pain after ear cartilage harvesting

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Ear pain is a very vague description. If you have pain at thisp oint, you  may have a neuroma from the sensory branch where the incision was made. Hard to say without an exam.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Ear Cartilage was Removed During Revision Rhinoplasty, Have Had Ear Pain Since, Normal?

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It's very common to struggle with localized ear discomfort after surgery.  However, one would expect that after 1 year this would all subside.  It's not uncommon to have intermittent inflammation in the area, however, and if you've had a formal evaluation that didn't turn up anything sinister this is all that is likely going on.  My recommendation would be to start a regimen of ibuprofen 400mg at a time separated every 6 hours.  If the pain completely subsides after taking this regimen for 3 or 4 days then you have your answer.  If not then you should seek a repeat evaluation just to double check that all is well.

Shepherd G. Pryor, MD
Scottsdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

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.