How Is A ‘Reverse Otoplasty’ Done?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I am interested in having one ear of my previous otoplasty partially reversed. It is pulled back too far and needs to come out 4 or 5mms so the helical rim is seen again. I have a few questions about the specifics of the operation.

1) Could it be performed under local anesthetic?

2) Roughly what size would the cartilage graft be?

3) Does the graft become knitted in place by new scarring or remain somewhat movable under the skin?

4 Should I expect lumps from the cartilage/scars to be visible following healing?

5) Have you performed the operation before and if so, what success rate have you had?

Thank you for your time.

A:  In answer to your questions:

1) The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia given that it is one ear and fairly limited in scope.

2) The cartilage graft needs to fit in between the released folds and generally is no bigger than 10mm x 5mms.

3) The graft is sewn in and heals to the other cartilages so it is not moveable.

4) The graft fits between the folds of the cartilage on the back of the ear so it can not be seen or felt from the front. You may or may not be able to feel it from behind the ear.

5) I have performed this ‘reverse otoplasty’ several times successfully. There is nothing new or magical about this procedure. It is a technique borrowed from my days when I regularly performed microtia reconstructions, the most complex form of external ear surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana