Secondary Microtia Reconstruction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had microtia reconstruction of my right ear back in 2006. I am not happy with the results especially looking at the pictures you have posted in your Instagram accounts. The quality of your performance is stunning. While I am now 42 years old I am not ready to say this is the best it can be. Any recommendations from your will be greatly appreciated!

A: Thank you for sending your pictures. Microtia reconstruction surgery is very difficult in getting good results so your outcome is not entirely rare. You have two options to improve your ear shape at this point depending on how far you want to go with it. The first approach, the more conservative one, is to keep the cartilage framework you have, remove the overlying skin and hair on it and replace it with a skin graft. I would also shorten the earlobe and make it fit the bottom of the framework better. This approach will get rid of the hair and allow the details of the cartilage framework to be seen better. The second approach, a more aggressive one, is to get rid of the current reconstruction and replace it with a either a new cartilage framework or a 3D computer-generated implant from the shape of the other side and then cover either one with a TPF flap and skin graft.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana