Why Are my Ears Protrduding After my Face Lift?

I had my facelift 4 days ago.. after taking off the bandages to shower I am freaking out. My ears are protruding out like dumbo...

Doctor Answers 24

Alteration of ear shape post facelift.

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Do not worry.  You need to go through the healing process.  Swelling is mamium 5 to 7 days post surgery.  Every person rides a rollar coaster emotionally after facial surgery.  Call your doctor's office and talk with a staff member that had your procedure.  You will be better.

Protruding Ears 4 Days after Facelift

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Do not worry- your ear position, which is secondary to post-op swelling, is temporary. It is almost impossible to move the ears away from the face with a facelift procedure. Be patient!

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Normal swelling after a face lift

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It is normal for many parts of the head and neck to swell after a face lift. It's probably best to hide the mirrors for a while, to let you heal properly.

Josh korman MD

Joshua Korman, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Temporary Ear Swellling Is Common After Facelift Surgery

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Since almost all of the incisions of a facelift are around your ears, it is very common for them to be swollen somewhat after surgery. Since it is only 4 days after your surgery there is no doubt that the ear swelling wll go down. While skin is pulled up and tightened around the ears, it is theoretically possible that it could pull on the ears and make them stick out if too much skin was removed or pulled too tight. Despite this theoretical risk, I have never seen or heard of it occurring. Tragal changes of the ear are well known but not the entire ear cartilage being distorted. I think you will see this concern pass in the next few weeks. 

Face Lift, Mini Face Lift, The Palmer Celebrity Face Lift, Beverly Hills Face Lift

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During a Face Lift, the skin around the front and back, of the ear is dissected, trimmed and removed.  This can cause swelling along the incision lines making the ears appear to protrude forward.  This should decrease quickly over the next couple of weeks.

Ear Swelling after a Facelift

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It is not unusual for the ears to be swollen following a facelift which can make them appear as if they are protruding.  Make sure to keep your head elevated while sleeping.  Ice packs applied to the ears may also help.  Even if the swelling begins to subside, make sure to mention it to your surgeon on your next follow up visit.  However, if you begin to experience any sign of infection - increasing pain, fever, chills, etc. - you should contact your surgeon immediately.

Andrew B. Denton, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Ear swelling is perfectly normal after a facelift.

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Yes the ears do swell after a facelift.  They are often the last structure to calm down after a facelift.  If you have specific concerns, of course please do communicate with your surgeon.  This early from surgery there is always a small risk of post-op infection or bruising.  These are conditions that can be associated with pain.  If the ears are comfortable you are most likely just experiencing routine swelling.  Your surgeon will want to hear from you, please do not wait until your next visit.  I advise my patients that I would rather hear from them for something that turns out to be nothing than miss something truly important.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


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Don't be alarmed.  It could be swelling that it making it appear swollen. It is too early to comment on it.  I am sure you have your post operative appointment with your surgeon.  He or she can reassure you after seeing you. 

There are some instances when the facelift procedure that tightens the skin can pull the ear forward too much. Usually this relaxes, but occassionally it may not.  Since you are so early in your post operative period, this is best addressed by your surgeon.

Swelling after facelift

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Thank you for your question for sharing your concerns with us. Swelling and firmness in the tissues will return to normal as time passes by. Between the first and second week, much of your swelling and bruising will dissipate. It may take more than a month or two for your tissues to fully soften and any residual swelling to resolve. Lymphatic massage maybe an option to help clear the swelling and firmness at a faster pace. I would make sure that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon during this period of time.

Ears Protrduding After Face Lift

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4 days post surgery is still very early for you to judge the results of your surgery - be patient and follow up with your surgeon.  Swelling can make the ears look different.

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.