Excessive Swelling And Pulling Down Around Earlobes After Facelift

I am a 46 year old male had a facelift on Dec. 22nd 2010. After three weeks time, most of the swelling had gone down except for some numbness around the check area to be expected. However, I have excessive swelling and pulling forward and downward of my earlobes which looks like my earlobes are attached to my cheek. Is this normal for this time period and for this area? When i move my jaw side to said the earlobe goes with it. Will it retract? and is this excessive swelling normal?

Doctor Answers 35

Excessive Swelling And Pulling Down Around Earlobes After Facelift

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Swelling soon after Facelift surgery is common and should resolve over time. Your ear lobes however should not be pulled down and this may require some minor surgical revision. Revisit your surgeon to discuss your concerns.

Columbus Plastic Surgeon

What if earlobes are PULLED FUNNY after a facelift.

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It is still early....but ...PULLED EARLOBES MAY BE A CONCERNING PROBLEM.   Go see your surgeon and talk to him or her.  This may be temporary but may not and you will need a revision at 6 months.  occasionally this can and does happen although it idelly should not.   The good news is that it is easy to correct when it occurs.  Hopefully as you heal this will resolve, I hope.  See your surgeon. Part of a surgeons job is to be supportive and solve complication  problems.  Pulled down and forward earlobes are not acceptable, should they remain that way.Good luck.

Excessive Swelling And Pulling Down Around Earlobes After Facelift

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The #healing process in general can take up to one month for the majority of swelling to subside, incisions to close, sutures to come out, and for bruising to completely go away. 

#Recovery time from a #facelift varies from person to person, but patients can generally expect to be presentable within three weeks from surgery. Patients should expect swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the skin during this phase of recovery (swelling normally goes down after 48 hours; most bruising will go away within two weeks). Some degree of firmness or #lumpiness under the skin is normal after surgery and will resolve with time. Local #massage will speed resolution of this problem, which normally takes 2-4 months to disappear completely.
The marks from a facelift can easily hidden with “camouflage” make-up which you can learn how to apply.
The scars from a facelift mature within six to twelve months from the surgery date. It is during this time that the rejuvenating effects of the facelift will become apparent and the real result will be seen. If you have certain concerns about the procedures and #healing process, it is recommended to call your board-certified surgeon or their medical staff and discuss those #concerns.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Healing after a facelift

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Generally speaking, it can take 6 to 12 months to completely heal after a facelift procedure. I would strongly recommend speaking with your surgeon or his/her clinical team to discuss your concerns further.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Excessive swelling and earlobe displacement

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It is very difficult to answer your question without seeing your pictures or examining you - truly excessive swelling after a lift is something you should see your surgeon for.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Pulled earlobes after Face Lift.

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 The earlobes can be pulled forward or downward, after a face lift, depending on the amount and manner in which the skin is trimmed around the earlobe.  This will not, IMHO retract and may even continue to move in the direction this pulls occurs.  It's best for you to ask your face lift surgeon for advice on the matter.  There is a localized touch up procedure that can correct this issue.

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

Earlobes can be the big tip-off of a facelift. But there is hope!

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How the ear lobes are handled in a facelift are one of the most often overlooked or mis-managed nuances of this type of surgery.  It is a seemingly minor maneuver during the surgery.  But it can tell the whole story:  "I had a facelift!"  On the up side, we do ear lobe revisions all the time to correct this defect.  So you don't have to live this way or have an entire facelift revision to reverse the "attached" ear lobe look.

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Facelift Results

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It is not unusual for facelift patients to have swelling for several months following a procedure. However, it is unusual for the earlobes to be pulled down following a facelift. You should discuss these results with your surgeon,

Michael Sullivan, MD
Columbus Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Swelling after Facelift

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Three weeks after a Facelift, some degree of swelling is expected and is totally normal.  However, if too much tension was placed on the skin at the point of earlobe inset, an undesirable phenomenon known as a "pixie" ear can occur.  It is best to discuss your concerns with your Surgeon.  Unfortunately, if a "pixie" ear deformity has occurred, it cannot be corrected without further surgery.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Pulled earlobes after facelift

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Since it has only been three weeks since your surgery, some of the effect may be related to post-op swelling.  Time will tell.  

If there is too much tension on the earlobes when they are inset during the tailoring phase of your facelift, a pulling effect can result long-term.  This is known in the trade as a "pixie ear".  This may require a surgical revision.  Speak with your surgeon about your concern.


All the best,

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.