Hole behind ear. How much scarring will I have from this? (Photo)

I am in my 5th week post op and still have this large gap behind my ear. I've already had a staph infection in this and now Dr says it looks good and should be completely closed in a week. Believe able? How much scarring will I have from this? Is it normal to leave someone with this and still to have it this wide open at 5 weeks?

Doctor Answers 28

Open wound behind an ear post #facelift: what to do?

Thank you for your question and pictures.

Sometimes it is possible to close such a wound once it is clean but one has to have enough skin to do so.  

Some other times one has to allow it to heal on its own and perform a scar revision at a later time.  It may take a few weeks to close on its own.

I am sure your plastic surgeon wants the best for you and he/she is in the best position to guide you in the next course.

Hope this helps!

Best regards,

Dr. Marc DuPere, Toronto Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Dehisced incision behind the ear--will it heal?

Sorry to hear about your situation. Your surgeon likely has your best interests at heart.  Once open and contaminated with normal skin bacteria, it is best to let this heal and close on it's own and then perform scar revision later, if necessary.

Sam Most, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Wound healing after face lift

Thank you for the question and photos.  There is likely not that much skin laxity in that area at this time so suturing it may not be the best course of action.  Your plastic surgeon will know better how much skin laxity there is and what the chances of healing are with suture repair versus leaving it for secondary healing.  Part of the initial problem may have been a combination of tension and blood supply to that area so placing excessive tension on that area with a suture repair may cause more harm then good.  I would follow your plastic surgeons guidance for now and see how the wound looks once its healed.  A scar revision may be possible if needed.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Open wound behind the ear after a facelift.

The decision whether to re-suture the area or allow it to heal on its own is a judgment call. If a suture failed and repair of the area will hasten recovery. If the issue is due to blood supply then healing by secondary intention is probably safer proposition. Trust your surgeon and check in for evaluation often.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Post op infection

Infections can sometimes happen post op, despite clean technique and perioperative antibiotics. In those cases, you sometimes have skin breakdown. It's best to first allow the ineffective to heal, the skin to come in, and then at a later date, re-excise the scar. Because it's nicely tucked behind your ear, it will be easy to hide. At times you can re-close it early, but it's not always so clear that the infection has fully healed yet. 

Samir Undavia, MD
Princeton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Diminished blood supply can lead to tissue loss

During facelift surgery, skin and tissues are undermined which can reduce the normal blood supply to the skin.  When this skin with compromised blood supply is placed under tension, the skin may lose sufficient blood supply to maintain viability, and the skin breaks down and an open wound results.  Furthermore, if the chin is not kept in extension, additional skin tension can develop, causing more compromise of blood supply and potentially larger areas of skin become involved in the process of necrosis (skin breakdown).
Once a wound develops, meticulous wound care typically results in complete wound healing, and may often heal to the point where the scar hides in the natural crease behind the ear.
Fortunately, the process is usually self limited and rarely requires surgical correction or scar revision.
Good luck with the rest of your recovery!

Daniel M. Calloway, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews


Thank you for your question.  You have an area that opened up likely due to infection,  It should heal and scar in.  The scar can be revised down the line, but it takes time to get everything healed, which can be stressful.  Make sure you keep in communication with your surgeon.  All the best,

Keshav Magge, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Postop facelift Souter line dehisence

One of the known problems after facelifting is that one of the suture lines can pop open.This is usually secondary to the facial skin being pulled to tight which can reduce the blood supply and then trauma by the patient, even very minimal, can cause the wound to open. The goals, save the skin, prevent infection, help the body heal as well as it can. It then will heal. It will take at least six months. You may require scar revision, Kenalog injections or skin resurfacing but if you are going to get this problem the best place to get it is behind the ear.

Thomas Romo, III, MD, FACS
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Hole behind ear. How much scarring will I have from this? = it depends on healing process #necklift #drmesa

Small dehisces of a neck lift surgical wounds ( behind the ear) may happen specially after infections.

In my practicem wound dehiscence usually heal after several days or weeks of wound dressings. The resulting scar appearance and size depends on the patient's particular healing capabilities. I tell my patients that one the wound is healed, the scar should be allowed to mature at least 1 year before considering any scar revision.

John Mesa MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
New York City (#NYC) & New Jersey (#NJ)
Neck Lift Specialtis
RealSelf Top 100 Plastic Surgeon

John Mesa, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Skin flap necrosis following facelift?

Hello! Thank you for your question and photos! Skin flap necrosis is a potential complication following facelift. Although uncommon, when it does occur, it is cnormal to allow the area to heal without surgical intervention. It sounds like and appears that your surgeon is treating you appropriately. After fully healed, scar revision may be entertained, if needed. At this point, the area appears without infection, is healing well, and clean. Continue to follow your surgeon's instructions. Although early in your postoperative period, it already appears that your result is excellent. Best wishes for a wonderful outcome!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.