Will My Mini Facelift Need A Revision?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am two weeks after mini facelift. My tragus is all of a sudden swollen and slightly pulled forward and I can feel it is under some tension. It literally happened almost overnight. My surgeon told me today that the swelling will go down and that the pulled forward tragus will most likely correct itself. When I touch that forward tipped cartilage, I can’t imagine how it will correct itself. Is it really possible that it will?? I’m desperate for an honest answer. And yes, there is a incision inside the ear, and under the lobe and behind. Everything else is healing well except my tragus which is pulled forward and is swollen. Will I need revision surgery? 🙁

A: It is important to realize that healing is often not a linear event. Just because something pops up in the healing process that seems unusual, particularly in the first month, does not mean that something is wrong or will not turn out right. Facelifts of any type takes months to fully heal and six months or longer for all scars to mature and the tissue to feel completely normal.

Having said that a distorted or deformed tragus may settle down and return to normal with adequate healing time. At the least you will need six months to see how it heals. A deformed tragus, however, often is a reflection of too much skin removed in front of the ear or tension not adequately distributed around other areas of the ear. I have seen this to be most common today as many surgeons try to make a mini facelift work when a fuller facelift is really needed with long skin flaps and better tension distribution at the top and behind the ear. Neither the earlobe or the tragus will tolerate much tension at all without subsequent deformation.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana