Worried About Excessive Scarring / Bruising from Otoplasty, Is It Normal? (photo)

I had Otoplasty done 8 days ago and am very worried about the appearance of my ears. I took the bandages off two days ago and they havent changed since then. They are extremely swollen, and have very dark scars or bruises on the inside of them as you can see in the pictures. In one of them there is a lot of swelling and looks like a blood clot but I'm not sure. They are also pinned far too back but am told it will move slightly back over time. Is this amount of swelling and bruising normal?

Doctor Answers 5

Otoplasty done with bruising

You appear that you might have a blood collection. This can be aspirated and removed. Then it may require follow up to be sure that it stays flat. You may need some dressing applied to the areas to help hold the swelling down. Sometimes even using sutures pulled completely through the dressing and bolster.  A pressure dressing will help as well.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Otoplasty and Postop Swelling?

Thank you for the question pictures.

It is hard to give you accurate advice based on the pictures only;  some degree of swelling/bruising is very normal at your stage of recovery after otoplasty surgery. Only your surgeon can rule out abnormal swelling (for example hematoma);  do not hesitate to contact him/her for accurate diagnosis and/or reassurance.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Swelling after ear surgery (Otoplasty)

From the pictures the swelling appears to be as expected after otoplasty surgery. Regarding the dark areas in the inner ear it may be collection of blood (hematoma) or some compromise to the skin. You should have it evaluated by your surgeon as soon as possible if he has not seen you yet.

Good luck

Swelling after Otoplasty

The swelling shown in your photos is fairly normal eight days after otoplasty. There appears to be some blistering and discoloration present which is more worrisome and can be related to problems with blood supply to the skin under the blisters. You didn't mention if you had seen your surgeon post-op yet, but he/she needs to take a look at those areas soon.

James W. Ward, MD (retired)
Arlington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Otoplasty healing


If you don't have an appointment with your surgeon this week, get one.  This does look like swelling that is normal but there's not usually much bruising.  The thing you want to avoid is a fluid collection because this can result in scarring or a lumpiness to the ear.  Go see your surgeon immediately to ensure there isn't a fluid collection that needs to be drained.  Most likely you are fine at this early stage.  

Best of luck

Chase Lay, MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.