Sudden severe pain behind one ear; 5 months post-op lower face/neck lift?

I am 5 months post op lower face/neck lift. I moved my head back while looking up and felt and heard a scrunch in the front side of my neck. It felt like something ripped inside. Very unusual experience. Next day, severe pain and itching began around scars behind one ear which has still been numb. Two days of same pain now. Have not experienced this type of pain before so I am assuming it's nerve pain in healing process. Only small relief is pressure to area. Thank you for any comments.

Doctor Answers 6

Sudden and severe pain 5 months post-op from face/neck lift

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If at 5 months post-op you suddenly began to experience this discomfort I would suggest that you see your plastic surgeon right away. The best manner to diagnose if there is a problem is with an in-person evaluation, preferably by the surgeon who performed the procedure. Best of luck.

Neck Lift and Pain Behind the Ear

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Thank you for your question about recovery from Neck Lift.

You could possibly be developing a neuroma of the Great Auricular nerve or this could simply be healing scar tissue and resolve spontaneously.

For specific questions like this and about your recovery, it is generally best to speak with your doctor or doctor’s representative – such as his or her nurse, or the physician on call for the practice.

You will likely get many different opinions from members of the RealSelf Community, but they have not physically seen or examined you, and nobody knows you or the circumstances better than your doctor.

If you feel you are not being listened to or you are doubting your doctor’s recommendations, then it is certainly within your rights to seek a second and get the advice from another board certified physician. This should be done through an in-person consultation.

Obviously, if you think that you are having a medical emergency or other serious problem, you should call 911 and/or go to your nearest emergency room.

Best Wishes.


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Thank you for your question. It sounds as if a suture was pulled. Please consult with your board certified facial plastic surgeon for immediate conversation and evaluation about your discomfort.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

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Severe Pain Post Neck/Face Lift

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You should be evaluated if you are experiencing sudden severe pain 5 months post neck/face lift. I suggest returning to your physician for an in person consultation. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Pain after neck lift

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When a neck lift is done, the platysma is tightened and suspended with sutures.  They are typically placed on the mid portion of the front of the neck and laterally below the ear lobes.  They are usually permanent sutures.  You may have pulled sutures causing bruising.  This type of incidence is unusual 5 months after surgery, but it is certainly possible.  The pain and discomfort should go away in 1-2 weeks.  Contact surgeon for more advice.


Alex Kim, MD

Alex Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Pain after surgery

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I think your best bet is to follow-up with your surgeon for an in-person exam.  What you're describing could be a number of things, including a muscle spasm, scar tissue, or a neuroma (a balled-up collection of nerves that can cause pain).  A variety of treatments may be appropriate, based on the issue at hand.  Good luck!

Inessa Fishman, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.