Can An Otoplasty Revision Bring My Ears Back Out A Bit?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had otoplasty performed 5 years ago. While mostly satisfied with my result at that time, I did feel my ears were just a tad too close to my head. Very recently a plastic surgeon removed all the scar tissue and sutures from that otoplasty years ago in hope this would bring the ears out slightly. Along with the scar tissue, this included removal of sutures that were placed to create the antihelical fold since I was born with virtually not one in the bottom 2/3 of my ears & mastoid sutures. It’s only been several days since the removals and my ears did come out some immediately. For example, the antihelical folds are not folded quite as tight as they were. In your experience or opinion, do you think the folds will tighten up again to where it was previously or do you think since they pretty much popped out right away they will stay? Of course there is still some swelling so I’m sure any results will take longer. Even a few millimeters would satisfy me, so I took the chance of this. I still should’ve research more beforehand. Please let me know your thoughts. I may schedule a consultation with you if these results do not work.

A: While it is possible that an otoplasty revision by removing the scar tissue and sutures between the cartilage folds will allow them to spring out a bit more, I would not be optimistic that would work. Besides the fact that the cartilage has not been released and supported outward, scar tissue will soon fill in the fold area and recontract back down. Removing the sutures and scar tissue inly really works if it is done within three to six months after the procedure. ( or sooner)

To successfully create increased ear prominent, the cartilage folds need to be help apart. I used to do this with either pedicled ear cartilage grafts or even a small rib graft, I have evolved to just placing a small ‘spring’ (1.5mm bent metal plate) which serves the same purpose and is much simpler. Since tjhe tiny metal plate is on the back of the ear, it is never a long-term concern.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana