My Ear is Detaching After Facelift is This Common?

Following a facelift my ear became detached for about a quarter of an inch at the bottom at day 12. I went back to the surgeon who said to leave it alone and it did right itself but how common is that?

Doctor Answers 11

Ear detachment after facelift can occur and usually heals well

Thank you for your question.  Fortunately your surgeon most likely secured the ear to the face with deep sutures and the opening below the year closed by itself with healing. 

Detachment of the ear following facelift can occur but is relatively unusual.  The important point is that your surgeon handled this issue properly and you did heal.  In over 30 years I have never seen an ear detachment after facelift that required re-suturing or corrective surgery severe experience is normal.

Detached earlobe is a normal planned maneuver during facelift.

One of the ways to create a natural curvature the earlobe is to leave the bottom in sutured to the cheek skin. When this heals over a week or so a normal lobe forms.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Ear Lobe Separation After Facelift

It is not common for the ear lobe to separate from the face after a facelift, but it can happen.  Follow your Plastic Surgeon's post operative instructions.  If needed, he may have to do a minor revision surgery under local in an office setting.  Best wishes for a fast recovery!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

My earlobe detached from my face!

 Dear Blueashworth,

thank  you for your post.  This is not common, but not unheard of.  With the seperation of the lobe from the face skin, there will be a contraction that occurs (i.e. the 1/4 inch separation will grow smaller with time) but there will probably be a thicker scar in this area.  This can be revised once it is healed.

Best Wishes,

Pablo PRichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Ear lobe separation after face lift

Thank you for asking about ear lobe separation after your face lift.

  1. Your face lift surgeon gave you the right advice.
  2. This is not common but happens from time to time.
  3. If the ear lobe had not self-corrected, it can be correct with local anesthesia in the office but this is not often needed. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Earlobe detachment after facelift

This is fairly common and generally not a problem.  Many surgeons, including myself, will not suture the earlobes really tightly to avoid a "pixie ear" deformity.

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Earlobe detachment after facelift

This is seen every once in a while in my practice and should not be a problem.  Your surgeon did the right thing (nothing) and I would expect your aesthetic result to be as good as if it never happened. 

Carey Nease, MD
Chattanooga Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Your surgeon's advice is sound.

Undoubtedly you surgeon had earlobe supported with suture.  Low grade infection or other mechanical issues can delay healing.  Sewing this back together at this point can be ok or it can lead to a focal incision infection.  For this reason it is often best to allow these to heal on their own.  If a repair is necessary, it can be done once things have healed more.  In many cases the area heals well on its own without additional work.

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


In a recent study 65% of patients had some ear related issue after facelift surgery but almost all resolve in time, so its very common

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Earlobes after facelift

Dear Blueashworth,

  1. I agree with the other surgeons and this will heal well
  2. If there are any issues, it is very easy to correct in the office
  3. There is nothing that should be done now other than local care for the wound


Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 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.