Hematoma After Otoplasty- What Are The Risks? (photo)

Hi! How bad is it to get a hematoma after an otoplasty? Does it have to be drained immediately? I have read that there is a risk of fibrosis. What is your opinion? My surgery told me to come back after 10-14 days after this picture (picture was taken 15/11, surgery was 11/11). Is it too late? The technique he used was Stenströms. Best regards Peter

Doctor Answers 6

The bruising of your ear after otoplasty surgery may indicate a hematoma that should be drained.

I read your concern and reviewed your photo. I usually remove the bulky head-dressing from my otoplasty patients 24-48 hours post-op, check for a hematoma, and leave my patients with a head-band similar to yours. If your doctor examined your ear 2-3 days ago, and said it looked fine even though it looked bruised like in this photo, you'll probably be fine.

If there has been worsening pain, swelling and bruising of your left ear, since your operation, you may have developed a hematoma that could be drained in the office. An ear with a post-op hematoma is typically more painful than the other ear.

It's impossible to tell what's going on from the photo-alone. Since you have a concern, it would be best to visit your doctor as soon as possible for definitive evaluation and management.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Joseph

West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Bruising vs Hematoma After Otoplasty

It is important to differentiate bruising from a hematoma after otoplasty. Your picture is not clear enough to tell whether it is a hematoma or not. You should check with your surgeon promptly. If it is a hematoma it will need to be drained and a compression dressing applied so you do not develop a fibrosis problem. Unless it is weeks to months later, it is not to late to drain a hematoma.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Hematoma after Otoplasty Surgery

Dear patient,


It is unclear for me to see whether or not it is a hematoma or just simple bruising based on your photos. If indeed it is a hematoma, you should see your physician as soon as possible so that it may be evaluated for possible drainage. If it is simple bruising, a combination of time and icing would be sufficient.


Teanoosh Zadeh, MD, FRCSC
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Hematoma after Otoplasty

Thank you for the question.

Unfortunately, it is hard to tell based on your picture if you have a hematoma present or just ecchymosis ( bruising). If there is hematoma present  it should be drained (to prevent permanent deformity).

Hopefully,  you can approach your plastic surgeon again soon to discuss  your concerns.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Otoplasty hematoma and the risks what should be done

I would suggest seeing the doctor that did your procedure as soon as possible. It should be drained asap. If not the blood will form a scar in that area and it will look like the swelling if not removed. I would bring this up to the doctor again.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Hematoma after otoplasty

It's very important that a hematoma be drained and excess clots removed after an otoplasty if they occur.  Fibrosis is a real risk and difficult to treat.  Within seven days after surgery you really want your ear's contours to look as normal as possible.

Hope you had that addressed

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.