Improved or not? Behind the ear facelift incision healing troubles. (Photo)

I am 9 days post-op neck lift and mini-lift. I love my doctor and my outcome so far but I ran into a healing problem behind my right ear. He recommended to continue the incision cleaning procedures and prescribed Bactroban ointment for the trouble area, as well as oral doxy. I will see his nurse again tomorrow for follow up on this, but I'm feeling anxious and was curious to hear some other thoughts. The first photo is from yesterday, and the second photo is from today. Better or worse?

Doctor Answers 8

Wound Behind Ear

The open wound behind your ear has not improved in one day. This wound will take several weeks to close. You should continue your present wound care program of carefully cleaning with soap and water. You should then dry the wound thoroughly and apply the Bactroban antibiotic ointment. This should be done once or twice per day and should be covered with a band aid to keep the wound from drying out. Do not touch the wound with your fingers unless you have on exam gloves. The oral antibiotics should be continued if your physician feels that it is necessary. He should determine this by examining the wound on a weekly basis.

Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Necklift & Mini-Lift

Thank you for your question, longhairedlady. Please consult with the board certified facial plastic surgeon who performed your surgery for more detailed cleaning guidelines as you will not be able to verify if your current cleaning procedures are making any improvements for several weeks.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Wound healing after a facelift procedure

It looks from the photographs that you may be experiencing some delayed wound healing behind your ear. That is not uncommon and may be due to some compromise in blood flow. Make sure you do not smoke, continue your doctor's recommendations and keep the area clean. It can take several weeks or more to heal but in that area, it should not be visible and should not negatively impact your result.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Postop Wound Healing Trouble

Since you love your result so far and you do have a good relationship with your Doctor, I recommend that you return to him for further instructions in wound care. This looks like a dehiscence of the incision behind your ear and it should heal well with time.  An absorptive wound healing sponge such as Polymem (made by 3M) can be helpful in these circumstances.  Good luck.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Improved or not? Behind the ear facelift incision healing troubles.

Appears you need better wound care! Please seek detailed instructions to wound care>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wound problems after facelift

It appears that you are having poor healing due to poor blood flow to the edge of the wound.  The unhealthy tissue and scab will need to be removed from the wound and caraeful wound care will be needed.  I would advise having your surgeon look at the area and manage this for you.  Best regards

Sean R. Weiss, MD
New Orleans Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Improved or not? Behind the ear facelift incision healing troubles.

Thank you for your question and pics.  I'm sorry to hear about your complication; with time your body will heal.  It appears that you have some exudate and minimal tissue necrosis within the wound.  In my practice, if I were to see this, I would debride it at the bedside until I see healthy viable tissue.  This will then allow timely progression of the wound healing, whether I decide to let it heal on its own or to re-approximate the wound edges.  Be sure to visit your surgeon frequently and get his or her direct input regarding this problem.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Healing problems behind-the-ear.

If left alone, this area would most likely eventually heal. However, that yellow-brown tissue is a form of scab. It's an area where the subcutaneous tissues have been exposed to air, desiccated, and are now acting like a scab. Without cleaning up these tissues, this area will take 6-10 weeks to heal. As well, the gap forming in that area means additional healing time.
I would strongly recommend revisiting your surgeon, not his/her nurse, and having that area "debrided ". This can mean scraping it with a curet, trimming that yellow scab with scissors, or excising it with a knife. Personally, I would follow this up with a few stitches to tack the ear back down to speed the healing process and to minimize any cosmetic concerns.
Best of luck!
Dr. Subbio
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 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.