Is this discoloration around my ears normal on day 12 post surgery for eye, neck and facelift? (Photo)

Doctor Answers 22

Discoloration needs immediate evaluation.

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From your photo, it appears your have a small area of skin necrosis of your cheek and possibly a collection of blood under your skin causing your swelling.  You should see your plastic surgeon immediately for evaluation and treatment.

Is this discoloration around my ears normal after Facelift

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Dear alexa54, No, I would suggest that you see your surgeon as soon as possible for an evaluation. You appear to have a lack of good blood supply to the area in front of your ear and you have some possible skin necrosis. You also appear to have a possible hematoma in your neck that needs immediate attention as well. call your surgeons office and make an appointment today. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews


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The areas that are shown in the photograph could indicate skin necrosis along the incision line. You should be sure to see your surgeon to have it examined and treated. Good luck!

P. Daniel Ward, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Check in with your surgeon

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The concern here is that the darkened area on the cheek may be a small area of skin necrosis, which will need careful attention to dressing care, in order to get the best result.  Also, it looks like you may have a fluid collection or small hematoma in the neck - best to get it checked out by your surgeon.

All the best,

Agree that the dark area is skin necrosis.

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Necrosis means that the skin lacks normal circulation.  Sounds bad.  However, with aggressive care including keeping vaseline on the skin, it can heal remarkably well.  The dusky discoloration of the skin around the darkest area and extending into the neck is a combination of bruising and partial skin ischemia.  Generally with appropriate care and tincture of time is what you need.  Not normal but this can occur with a face lift.

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

Turkey neck facelift

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looks like there is some fluid in your neck that may benefit from the attention of your surgeon with a timely aspiration. The small area in front of your ear would benefit from washing with a bar of dove soap twice a day and applying Neosporin or Bacitracin. See your surgeon for best advise. Everything will be better within a few weeks. Good luck...

Discoloration around ears 12 days after facelift

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The darkened area in front and below your ear after your facelift 12 days ago could be crusting or some necrosis of the skin.  I would contact your surgeon so that you can be evaluated in person.  I would recommend putting an ointment, such as Aquaphor, on the area to keep it moist until you get further instructions from your surgeon.   

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


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Your best to be examined in person by your PS and advised regarding the skin and the swelling in our neck. It is important to assess whether the swelling is causing a compromise to the skin.

Skin discoloration after facelift

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The darkened areas requires immediate attention.  I am worried that region of skin may be ischemic and necrotic. The good news is that it's around the ear which can be addressed later with another "tuck up" if the skin does not heal well and scar contracture ensues.  

Healing and Recovery From Your Facelift

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First and foremost, its best to remain patient. It is still early in to your recovery. 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). 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.

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.