Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in ear reconstruction. I got bit by a dog a year ago and lost the lower third of my ear. I have attached pictures for your review.
A: Thank you for your inquiry and sending your pictures. Your traumatic injury represents a classic case of reconstruction of the lower third of the ear…the hardest area of the ear to remake. To do so requires a two-step procedure with the first stage being to raise a skin flap from behind the ear and attach it to the visible edge of the missing ear section. After 8 weeks the attached skin has gotten a good blood supply of its own and it can be released from its base, rolled to make both a back side as well as front side of the missing area and closed over a cartilage graft or implant to support the lower helical rim and where the earlobe would be. This keeps moist of the scar to do within the shadow of the ear rim.
Both stages of this ear reconstruction could be performed as an outpatient procedure and each takes about an hour to complete under IV sedation or even local anesthesia.
Dr. Barry Eppley