Q: Dr. Eppley, I made a terrible mistake with my son’s otoplasty. I went with the less invasive procedure for his ears. I had a doctor perform an incisionless otoplasty six days ago. The bandages were removed this weekend and I am extremely unhappy with the results. There is virtually no change at all and it looks terrible. I am embarrassed that I made this choice and I now realize I should have gone with your approach at our initial consultation. Is there anything that you can do to help revise this now or should we wait a few months?
A: At just six days after an incisionless otoplasty it is possible that the ears are so distorted with swelling that you may not be really looking at any approximation of the final ear reshaping result. The incisionless otoplasty works on the principle of a closed cross hatching of the cartilage with a needle (to weaken it) and then passing multiple sutures under the skin using the same entrance points. This technique does cause a lot of trauma to ear so I would not rule out what you are seeing as temporary ear distortions due to swelling and bruising.
But it would be important at this early point after surgery to allow the swelling and bruising to subside and let healing take place for the next three months. At that point the ears will have their final shape and you will be in a better position to assess the result. The ears would also be healed enough at that point that I would consider converting to an open otoplasty to get a better result if that is needed.
Dr. Barry Eppley