Tara Kachroo

Cosmetic Ear Surgery Scars

Cosmetic Ear Surgery Scars

One of my clients travels pretty far to visit me here in the Kitchener area. They have complaints about jaw pain and face pain as well as a few other things. While the issues are complicated, one major factor are the scars made by a cosmetic surgery that their parents elected they have as a child. This was a surgery to pin back prominent ears. Cosmetic surgery scars can cause long term pain and chonic mobility issues. 

Cosmetic Surgery Scars Can Cause Pain

This surgery is called otoplasty or pinnaplasty. One of the options that can be made in this surgery is to leave permenant sutures to keep the ears in place.  My last post was about an ear scar too, but one that was the result of an accident. Just because scars are created intentionally by a surgeon does not mean that they can’t cause problems. In fact, like all scars, they probably WILL cause pain and dysfunction.

Ear Scars are a Big Deal

The area of your face around your ear has got a lot of important structures in and around it, including your jaw joint and fascia that connects to your eyes and sinuses, as well as the parotid gland and many important cranial nerves. In this area of your body scars and the distortions in fascia that they cause can lead to pain, motor issues, breathing problems, tinnitus, migraines and other types of headaches. These scars can also cause motor issues and chronic pain in other parts of the body as well. 

Cranial Nerves Around the Ear

Additionally, the cranial nerves around the ear scars can absolutely be entraped, inhibited, and irritated by fascia and scar tissue leading to very specific issues. The facial nerve below emerges below the ear, and when inhibited or damaged can cause bell’s palsy. The trigemical nerve is in front and it’s disfunction is well known for causing painful neuralgia. Additionally there is one branch of the vagus nerve that runs behind the ear.

The Vagus Nerve and Ear Scars

This branch of the vagus nerve supplies sensory innervation to the ear canal, tragus, and auricle. Irritation in one branch of a nerve can affect the whole nerve and all it’s functions. 

This nerve plays an important part in determining brain-body connections and was made particularly famous by the work of Stephen Porges in his seminal work developing Polyvagal Theory. Vagus nerve stimulation in the ear canal can have profound benefits for physical and emotional health and is can be used to reduce inflammation and stress response. It is a well studied and effective treatment for major depressive disorder, and many other conditions.  Inability to stimulate the Vagas nerve because of scar tissue interrupting the nervous system data coming from it could thus contribute to emotional issues as well.

Jaw Pain and Range of Movement

In this case it was clear that my client’s jaw movements were very limited and contributing to her pain. We primarily worked on reducing the scar tissues impact on her jaw movements and had amazing results in just one session. 

Do you have scar tissue around your ears? Blunt force trauma as well as cuts and surgeries all leave scar tissue. If you would like to discover what it might be affecting tyou and get treatment in the Kitchener area, book an Initial Assessment and we will discover and uncover what’s going on together.

Cosmetic surgery scars can cause long term pain and chonic mobility issues.