Reverse Otoplasty

Q: Dr. Eppley, I underwent otoplasty surgery several years ago from which my ears got over corrected (pinned back too much). As a result it gives my face a weird and unbalanced look. My surgeon basically didn’t correct my ears based on my face shape. I recently consulted with him regarding a correction or undoing what he did. His response was that no cartilage was removed, it was just cut in places to weaken it so it could be bent and reshaped. Therefore he said he can undo it, however, the ear protrusion will not be 100% as it was before surgery, as surgery was performed long ago. I don’t want to go back to this surgeon after my initial experience with him. I am primarily looking to get my ears protruding out again (especially the middle portion which is almost not visible from the front. Please help as I really need to get them corrected. I have attached pictures for your review.

A: Thank you for sending all off your pictures. What you have is an overcorrection of the middle third of your ear as the outer helix is pulled back behind the antithetical fold. This is the most common form of overcorrection in otoplasty. (the so called telephone ear deformity) This is corrected by a postaurucular release of the cartilage folds and the placement of an interpositional cartilage graft, usually allogeneic in nature rather than harvested from the patient. (reverse otoplasty) This is a procedure that can be done under local anesthesia or IV sedation. Since there was a reason you had the surgery in the first place, I would assume you would not want to regain to their original protruding shape, just correct the overcorrection.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana