Otoplasty Reversal

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had an otoplasty on my right ear, but unfortunately it was overdone and is causing a lot of problems. The surgeon removed a lot of cartilage and skin from my ear causing my ear to be set back a lot and completely attached to my head in some areas. This has affected my life greatly and now I am looking for a very experienced surgeon who can reverse this. I don’t have any stitches holding my ear to my head, so the only fix I believe is doing cartilage and skin grafts to separate my ear from my head and spring it back to match with the other one. Is this something you can do? And what is your experience with such reconstruction surgeries? I really appreciate you help.

A: Most otoplasty reversals require a method to spring the cartilage back out which can be done with a rib cartilage graft or a special metal spring that I use. If there is a true skin deficiency a skin graft will be initially needed prior to any effort at cartilage reshaping. However is some cases I have done a simultaneous fascial rotation flap after the ear is released and then skin graft on top of that at the same time as a cartilage graft. I would need to see pictures of your ear to see exactly what needs to be done. It may also be that a skin graft alone may suffice.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana