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Is It Possible To Fix An Overcorrected Otoplasty Surgery From 16 Years Ago?

When i was about 7 i did otoplasty on my ears so they did not stick out! The problem is that they are now completely into my head, very flat and a little deformed! There is no clearens from the "earbone" to the outer part! I can form my ear to be perfect with my hand! I was wondering if its possible to re operate so the ears are more bended more out and also so they are not so flat? Is it possible to do something with this? Im 23 years old now

Doctor Answers 7

Otoplasty revision

This is a good question that addresses an unusual problem (recurrence of ear prominence is more common). it is a good sign that you are able to “form the ear to be perfect” with your hand. This suggests that the ear  is malleable and conducive to surgical correction using techniques of stitch removal and/or cartilage work.

It is in your best interest to be seen by a well-trained/experienced plastic surgeon for direct examination and advice.

Best wishes.

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Is It Possible To Fix An Overcorrected Otoplasty Surgery From 16 Years Ago?

Interesting problem. It sounds like the sutures may be too tight if you are able to correct your ear position manually. If this is the case then a revision would be fairly straightforward and would involve releasing the existing sutures and replacing them with new ones at a more appropriate tension. There are many techniques for otoplasty however, so without actually seeing the OR report from your surgery or examining you it is tough to give specific advice.

Otoplasty overcorrection

Over-correction (and under-correction) can unfortunately happen with any cosmetic procedure, otoplasty included. Depending upon how things have healed, revision may or may not be successful. By your description, it sounds like the tissue is supple, which means it may be possible to correct. However, sometimes skin is removed with otoplasty which may make correction difficult.

Whether or not you are a good candidate is best determined by a consultation with a plastic surgeon who can evaluate your case in more detail and perform a physical exam. Best of luck!

Bryan Correa, MD
The Woodlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Secondary Otoplasty

There are times where overcorrection occurs.   Depending on that particular patient and the amount of overcorrection, it is often possible to correct the overcorrection.   There are several ways to do this.  Which technique is used is dependent on what is found at the time of surgery.  Often releasing the sutures holding the cartilage together is enough.   Sometimes repositioning cartilage or even taking cartilage grafts can be used.  

Jonathan Berman, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ear pinning reversal

This is NOT a common request, therefore it is not a surgery that is done frequently.

The  options are

1: remove the sutures that were put in the original surgery. There are sutures to create the antihelix and sutures from the ear to the mastoid. Also try to remove all the scar that is present. If the anti helix does not open then a cartilage graft can be put to open the antihelix. If the ear is too close to the head then a cartilagegraft can push the ear forward.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Revisional Surgery Following Otoplasty

Occasionally, patients who undergo otoplasty surgery require secondary revisional surgery.  This type of surgery can be performed when residual deformities are present, but can be difficult because of residual scarring and post-surgical anatomic changes.

When there’s no separation between the ears and the side of the head, revision can be accomplished by releasing structural sutures and removing excess scar tissue.  In the majority of cases this allows the ears to spring forward and this results in a more normal appearing ear.  Occasionally, structural sutures need to be replaced to re-create the contour of the ear.

Consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate.  This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan to correct this problem.

Reversal Otoplasty Requires Cartilage Grafts

Correction of an overfolded or overcorrected otoplasty from many years ago is not as simple as the first operation which created it. While releasing the antihelical fold sutures will work in the first month after an otoplasty, that time has long passed. It is scar tissue now that holds the folded cartilage in place. The scar tissue and the fold of the ear can be released through your old incisions on the back of the ear, but the key to success is how to hold them apart as they heal. Otherwise, there will be complete relapse to where you are now. Cartilage grafts are the best option and they can be harvested from the ear concha through the same incision. They are sutured in as interpositional grafts where the antihelical fold has been released. I have found this to be a useful and successful otoplasty reversal/adjustment technique 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.