What happened to my ear? It is much larger and still painful. I'm 9 weeks post op (Photo)

What in the world happened to my ear? Had revision facelift. My ear is much larger and still some painful after 9 weeks.

Doctor Answers 9

Post facelift ear pain and swelling

Its difficult to be sure from the images provided.  As indicated by others you may have a low grade suture reaction and infection or prolonged surgical swelling.  Post surgical swelling may be due to poor lymphatic or venous drainage.  This will settle with time.  See you surgeon asap to ensure you don't have any signs of infection.


Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Large ear lobe

This does not look right.  Is it the same on both sides?  If it is only on one side then there is either some residual inflammation, a retained suture, or an infection.  See your surgeon who did the procedure.

Barry N. Silberg, MD, FACS
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Facelifting #woundhealing #cosmeticsurgery #beauty

Dear Leisa1

Thank you for posting another question and photo!  You should address your concerns with you surgeon or seek a second opinion. 

With Warm Regards

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Ear swelling after facelift surgery

There are several possibilities for the pronounced swelling we see in your ears immediately postop:
1. Infection (Cellulitis or Chondritis)
2. Normal swelling after fat transfer to the ear during facelift surgery
3. Tension on the ear reducing lymphatic and venous outflow

You should discuss this with your surgeon.  My suspicion is that infection does not appear likely, and so #2 and #3 can be determined by speaking with your surgeon.

Good luck!

Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS
Austin Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Revision face lift

There are a number of variables at play here.  On your second face lift, the lymphatic flow is interfered with during surgery and complete recovery of function takes the body a longer time.  This means that swelling will stick around longer than it did the first time.  Also, depending on what kind of sutures were used around your ear under the skin, as they dissolve, the lymphatic flow will improve and the swelling will dissipate.  Depending on what kind of sutures were used in your case will vary how much longer the swelling lasts. Another variable is if there were any other procedures done at the same time, such as fat grafting, etc. Consult your surgeon as his experience with revision work will be able to tell you the usual timeline with swelling and when you can expect to be back to normal.  Best of luck.  Its early on in the healing process and your neck line looks great!

Miguel Mascaro, MD
Delray Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

9 weeks out from revision face lift

You may have a residual suture at the incision site that needs to be removed. You should cpnsult with your surgeon to have the site examined. 

Nicole Schrader, MD, FACS
Princeton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What happened to my ear? It is much larger and still painful. I'm 9 weeks post op

Thank you for your inquiry.

You are only 9 weeks from revision surgery.  It may take several months for the residual swelling to completely resolve.  Gentle massage can be a benefit at this time.  

I would advise you to discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon.  

Ear Pain and swelling

Since you have had two operations, there is likely a disturbance in the lymph flow in this area.  It is called lymphedema.  This can take a great while to dissipate and get better, but usually resolves over time on its own.  The ear gets bigger because of swelling, and is usually worse in the morning, and better by the afternoon.  Massaging the area around the ear can help.  You should also visit with your surgeon about your questions.  

Jesse E. Smith, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What happened to my ear? It is much larger and still painful. I'm 9 weeks post op

The lymphatic drainage has been compromised. Allow 3 months haring might use external ultrasound therapy. Also steroids PO might heal.

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.