Ear cartilage is harvested during the surgery either through an incision in front or behind the ear. Typically the cartilage is taken from the conchal bowl portion of the ear. Some surgeons will preserve the perichondrium on one side which helps preserve cartilage viability. The cartilage can then be shaped fit where ever it needs to go.
The ear is then closed and a bolster dressing is placed to compress the skin flaps.