Reverse Otoplasty

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in making the ears more prominent (reverse otoplasty) from the front. My ears are barely visible, hiding behind my face at an odd angle and have always been insecure about it. I was wondering if it might be possible to to maybe build up the bone underneath the ear or any other method to make them come out farther than my face to an ideal angle? Thanks in advance.

A: Ears that naturally are back too far (minimal auriculocephalic angle) or those that have had an otoplasty that is overdone are treated in a similar manner. A reverse otoplasty technique is used where an interpositional cartilage graft is placed between the released antihelical fold cartilages. (cadaveric rib cartilage) This will push the outer helical rim outward and make the ears more noticeable from the front view.

This is an ear procedure that is done by making an incision on the back of the ear and exposing the curved cartilages. The cartilages are then scored to release them and a cartilage is placed between them to push the outer half of the ear outward. The key to success with this procedure is the interpositional cartilage graft. 

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana