Loss of Hearing After Multiple Facial Surgeries?

I had a facelift, neck lift, eye lift, and forehead lift about 7 months ago. After the surgery I mentioned to my surgeon that my hearing was impaired. He told me it could not have been caused by the surgery however I felt the lose of hearing immediately after surgery. What should I do now?

Doctor Answers 6

Hearing loss after facial surgery is unusual

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Clearly seeing a ear physician promptly is needed to assess the hearing loss. The most common causes for hearing loss after facelift or facial surgeries is that of fluid in the ear, congestion of the ear, ear infection and temporary type problems. These tend to be one sided, but can be both sides and tend to get better with time or by themselves. However, one-sided rapid hearing loss is an inner hearing loss that can be permanent. This problem is also called sudden sensorineural hearing loss. The important thing is to obtain a full evaluation. Your otolaryngologist or ear doctor can determine the nature of the hearing loss, can perform hearing tests in his office to look for asymmetry, hearing loss related to the inner ear, hearing loss related to the outer ear and overall can achieve sufficient diagnosis to help elucidate the entire problem. Nonetheless, hearing loss after facial surgery is unusual and an evaluation will give you a good diagnosis.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Hearing Loss After A Facelift

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The most common cause of hearing loss after a facelift is the accumulation of dried blood in the ear canal.  A simple inspection in the ear canal with an otoscope can verify this.  If there is dried blood in the ear canal the use of hydrogen peroxide will break up the dried blood over the next few weeks.  If it persists, seek removal from an Otolaryngologist.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

Hearing Loss After Facelift Surgery

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Have your surgeon check to make sure there is no ear wax or gauze from the operation blocking your ear canal. If no explanation found. consult with an otolaryngologist (ENT physician). 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

See your doctor.

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I have never heard of hearing loss occurring with facial surgeries. You might have your doctor check to make sure a cotton ball was not left in your ear. If not, see an ear doctor for an evaluation. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

You need an exam of your ears and audiogram

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Hello Ava,

Sounds like the best thing to do would be to have a thorough exam of your ears and an audiogram (a hearing test).

Since you noticed the hearing problems after your surgery, it is possible that the two are related - but not necessarily. Hearing loss can occur at anytime for a number of reasons.

The best way to figure out what is going on would be to have an exam or your outer ear, ear canal, and ear drum. It is not uncommon that dried blood can get stuck onto the ear drum after a facelift and cause a conductive hearing loss. While very rare, there are reports in the literature of patients who have had sensorineural hearing loss (nerve damage) after undergoing general anesthesia. A tuning fork exam and audiogram would be able to determine the nature of your hearing loss as well as potential treatments for it.

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Loss of hearing is something that occurs naturally about the time we need a facelift.

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Dear Avabenmax

I would recommend that you see your internist and get a referral to an audiologist. The appropriate thing to do is to have a work up to characterize your hearing loss and determine the basis for it. It is improbable that the loss of hearing was caused by your surgery. It is more likely that you simply noticed it at about the time of your surgery. If you indicated that you were very soon out from surgery, it is possible that ear wax might have been compressed in the external ear canal from the placement of cotton at the time of surgery. If this is the case, it can be easily diagnosed just by your doctor looking in the ears and the wax can be easily removed. However, it is also likely that the hearing loss is just presbycusis, or hearing loss associated with aging (too much head banging music when you were younger).

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