Q: I recently had an otoplasty done and I like the way my ears are set back. They have a nice shape and position to the side of my head. I just have a problem with my ear lobes and was wondering what could be done to make them look better.
A: Otoplasty is largely a cartilaginous procedure. This means that the effects of the procedure is caused by the bending of the cartilage structure and giving it a new shape with suture stabilization. The earlobe, however, has no cartilage in it and is not affected by whatever method of cartilage manipulation is done. This can make for the upper two-thirds of the ear having a nice new position but the earlobe may still stick out afterwards.
An important aesthetic goal of otoplasty is to have a smooth and uninterrupted line of the ear’s outer helix as it goes from the top of the ear down to the earlobe. This is why I almost always reposition the earlobe back as well during an otoplasty through a concomitantly performed fishtail excision of skin on the back of the earlobe.
Secondary earlobe reshaping after an otoplasty can be done as a simple office procedure under local anesthesia. The fishtail skin excision can still be done on the back of the ear and the finishing touches to the otoplasty can be done.
Dr. Barry Eppley