After Facelift 2 weeks ago, I have 'pleat' or pucker along one ear. Will this go away? If so, how long should it take? (photo)

And my post-op ear looks very different from my ear before surgery, like a portion of the inner rim was removed. I'm concerned. The PS didn't mention that surgery would change the look of my ear. Would love to hear advice.

Doctor Answers 23

Pleat' or Pucker Along One Ear 2 Weeks Post Op

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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). When the skin is separated from the underlying tissues during surgery, small sensory #nerves are cut. Varying degrees of numbness will be present after surgery and will improve gradually as the nerves reconnect to the skin. This process can take from 2-6 months for face, neck and cheeks, and to 9-12 months for the forehead and scalp. Muscle weakness may also be present around the mouth especially if liposuction is used. This typically recovers fully in the months after surgery. 

As the nerves regenerate, the itching, burning, tingling and shooting #sensations will occur. Ice, moisturizers and gentle #massaging are helpful during this phase of the #healing process. Frequently there is a tight feeling in the neck, jawline and cheek after a facelift. During surgery, not only the skin but the underlying muscles are tightened to create a better and longer lasting result. Additionally, the #swelling will move downward in the first week and the neck will feel even tighter. Do not be alarmed: the sensation will decrease during the first month. 

Some degree of firmness or lumpiness under the skin is normal after surgery and will resolve with time. Local #massage of the areas may accelerate the resolution of this problem, which normally takes 2-4 months to disappear completely.
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.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Slight Changes Typically Resolve by Themselves

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Thank you for including the before-and-after photos along with your question. As others have mentioned, the puckering seen at the ear appears to be a slight irregularity that will gradually fade over the coming months. This is something you can ask your plastic surgeon about at a follow-up appointment. With your surgeon's approval, regular, gentle massage can also be helpful for expediting the healing process. If your ear's appearance continues to bother you, a minor scar revision procedure would be an appropriate treatment.

Marc DuPéré, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Facelift: Incision healing

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The pictures are helpful, but the angles are not the same. This makes it a little difficult to determine exactly what is going on. To me, it appears that the inner rim which you refer to has a little swelling extending to the ear lobe creating a pleat or bunching of the skin in front of the ear. Even though you are 2 weeks out, there is like still some healing that will continue to occur.  There still appears to be some edema (swelling) in the skin that was elevated during the procedure which is not uncommon. The best person to help guide you as to what to continue to expect in your healing process as well as things that can be done to speed up healing will be your surgeon. 

Mark Karolak, DO, FAOCO
Bridgewater Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews


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Thank you for your question. Patients experience a lot of swelling and bruising in the first two weeks after surgery. including around areas where the incision was made. You can massage your ear, as most likely recommended within your surgeon's recovery guidelines. Please continue to monitor the incision area around your ear and write down all recovery and other questions for your surgeon to address in your next consultation.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Facelifting #woundhealing #cosmeticsurgery #BOTOX #tmbcosmeticsurgery

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Dear Hello10001

Thank you for your question and photo!  Your concerns are noted- the scar looks a little firm- start to massage a few times a day and follow up with your Plastic Surgeon.

With Warm Regards

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Facelift Post-op

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Looks to me like you may have had a mini-lift and if so that is why there is some bunching behind your ear.  That should get better but you may always see a trace of it.

S. Randolph Waldman, MD
Lexington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Scar healing

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I agree with what the other doctors have said in regards to this question.

One addition piece of advice that is quick and easy and can be done at home:
-once the incision site has healed well (3 to 4 weeks), you can gently massage the area with the tip of your finger for a couple of minutes 2-4 times per day.  Use some basic moisturizer on your fingers and gently massage the area.  The massage can help stimulate scar healing and flatten out the area a bit more quickly.

Even if you did nothing, the area of your ear should improve over time. Remember that it takes 12-18 months for a scar to fully mature and remodel itself.

Best of luck in the healing process.

Kyle T. Yamamoto, MD
Reno Facial Plastic Surgeon

Pleat around ear 2 weeks after facelift

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A facelift generally requires incisions around the ears.  At 2 weeks you will notice these incisions.  This in not scarring and will resolve with time.  Also, the incisions will begin to fade.  Hopefully your surgeon explained the placement to you, if not these issues you are experiencing should resolve in weeks.

Of course, makeup can be used until these incisions fade more.  

Ernest Robinson, MD
Aliso Viejo Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Face lift - strange scar in front of my ear

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Thank you for asking about your face lift.
  • You seem to be healing very well otherwise -
  • This is thick scar and it should improve as time goes by.
  • You truly cannot tell how things will work out this soon after a face lift.
  • If the scar isnt' right after six months, your surgeon can easily correct it with a minor office procedure.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Normal healing process

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What you are seeing now is a part of the normal healing process and at only 2 weeks, definitely not your final result. The lumpiness, swelling, numbness, itching and hardness after a surgery like you had typically persists at least 6-8 weeks after the surgery then slowly begin to go away. The scars will fade and mature over the next 12 months. Give your body time to heal and be patient with your recovery. Best wishes.

Dean Vistnes, MD.
Vistnes Plastic Surgery
San Francisco Bay Area

#realself #drdeanvistnes #facelift

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 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.