Can a tragus be reconstructed after facelift?

Tragus on both ears has been "lost" after facelift, one side much worse than other. Tragal cartilage has definitely been removed during the facelift procedure. I cannot press on it & shut off the eardrum to avoid water going in if swimming etc. Also the cheek skin that meets the tragus seems flat with no slight hollow in front, as in normal ears. Can tragus be somehow restored, & can the definition where it meets the cheek be made to look normal? If so, are these difficult/specialist procedures?

Doctor Answers 13

Reconstructing the Tragus after Facelift

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Loss of tragal definition is a common tell tale sign of facelift surgery often seen in those not as skilled in the procedure though there can be many reasons to see this. Make sure you select a plastic surgeon experienced in facelift revisions. See the following link on how to find the best plastic surgeon to restore your tragus.

Facelifting #woundhealing #cosmeticsurgery #beauty

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Dear Heartsease

Thank you for your questions!  The tragus is hard to correct- it can be corrected if you have skin laxity and the skin redraped with a fold over flap.

With Warm Regards

Trevor M Born MD

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

Loss of tragus during face lift

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It is not part of typical face lift procedure to remove tragus cartilage. Usually skin is left too tight after excision or it is not thinned enough to show tragus contour. If tragus cartilage is still there it can be corrected/improved. To create missing tragus out of ear cartilage and reconstruct it to look normal is much more complex procedure. In any case, a detailed clinical examination should be the first step. You should seek a consultation with a reputable board certified plastic surgeon with experience in facial rejuvenation for detailed evaluation and discuss your options. Good luck.

Zoran Potparic, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Can a tragus be restored after it was removed?

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A tragal reconstruction can be performed effectively after surgery.  An appropriate cartilage graft skin closure may accomplish this.  Your tragus may not appear the way it looked before surgery, but should look better than the absence of a tragus.

On some occasions surgeon trim your tragus and the overlying skin exerts a healing pull, giving it an unnatural appearance.  If the skin over the tragus was not thinned this may also lead to an unnatural appearance.

Please consult a Specialist in your area and ask if he is able to accomplish.

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

Tragus and a facelift

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This, unfortunately, is a difficult problem to resolve. I would need to examine you personally to determine the best way to treat it, but it would involve some sort of revision surgery. I'd recommend seeing someone that specializes in facial rejuvenation surgery.

Andrew Campbell, M.D.
Facial Plastic Specialist
Quintessa Aesthetic Centers

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Tragus after facelifting

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Thanks for sharing.  The tragus is never resected in a facelift.  This not a part of facelift.  It can be "blunted" or "brought forward" indirectly from the way the skin was excised.  If this is the case then it is more likely that the tragus can be restored with a revising this area.  Photos would definitely be helpful to give you more info. 

Raymond E. Lee, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Facelift and tragus

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The tragus is not usually trimmed during a facelift, but sometimes its appearance can be blunted by poor technique. This may be correctable.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tragus Revealed

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Thank you for your question. This can be easily fixed.  It is not uncommon to find the tragus lost after a facelift procedure.  Due to excess swelling or not enough removal of tissue at the time of surgery, the tragus can appear lost or covered up.  A slight revision of this area is easily accomplished. Please see your surgeon for correction.  Thanks and good luck.

Paul E. Goco, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


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It is very rare to "lose" the tragus (the small bud of tissue in front of the ear) after facelift surgery.  Total loss of the tragus would require the surgeon to inadvertently cut it off during the procedure.  Most likely, it has been hidden under facial tissue that has not been contoured properly over the ear cartilage that forms this important landmark .  This can be repaired easily under local anesthesia.  

R. Scott Yarish, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Fixing a tragus after a facelift

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When a surgeon is closing the skin at the end of a facelift, the subcutaneous fat layer over the tragus needs to be thinned in order for the normal tragal contour to be maintained. In addition, I often place a special suture to help create a normal pre-tragal crease.  

If this was not done at the time of your facelift, it can be done quite easily as a corrective procedure under local anesthesia.

Steven M. Daines, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.