3 months ago I had an Otoplasty... the swelling has gone and they’ve healed well. I’m happy with my left ear, but the right ear is about 4mm more projected than the left. Possibly it has been ‘under-corrected’, or has partially relapsed. I appreciate that exact symmetry is unrealistic, but feel that a 4mm difference is too much. Can minor adjustments can be made after the initial operation to correct residual asymmetries? Are these touch-up procedures quick and easy to perform? Risks?
Otoplasty Asymmetry: Can I Get Minor Adjustment, Revision
Doctor Answers (12)
Asymmetry After Otoplasty: What to do?
Dear Otoplasty patient from Auckland,
One the most common complications associated with Otoplasty is asymmetry. If your asymmetry has been present since your operation, this is under-correction. However, appearance of asymmetry one month after Otoplasty indicates a relapse. In any case correction can be made under local anesthesia with oral sedation. Good luck and good healing.
You should wait a full year brfore considering Revision Otoplasty Surgery.
I read your concern. I don't think that a "minor adjustment" in the position of your ear is a minor undertaking. You would likely need to have the incision behind your ear re-opened, and have the skin behind your ear lifted, just like with your initial surgery, to place Moustarde sutures. Your ears may relax outward slightly over the next 9 months, so it would probably be best to sit tight till you see your final result.
Feel free to email your photos, and I'll be happy to share my thoughts with you.
Regards from NJ
Otoplasty: Techniques and pitfalls
Be healthy and be well,
James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS
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Minor Revisions after Otoplasty
Dear Auckland, Otoplasty for some people refers to just
- tucking the ears closer to the head, but also can refer to
- redefining the shape of the upper and lower poles of the ears.
I assume you are referring to the upper part (helix) of your ear that is 4 mm more projected than the other after surgery. This area may be have a touch-up if necessary. I would wait for the ears to fully heal (6-12 months). Not all ears are alike, and a variety of techniques can be used to meet your expectations. Depending on the original position of your ears, this may be a fairly simple procedure. Best Wishes in the new year.
Minor Adjustments with Otoplasty
Certainly it is possible to make minor adjustments. Depending on where and extent, it may even be possible to use an incision-less technique. Check with your original surgeon.
Unfortunately, even in the most experienced hands, revision surgery is a part of plastic surgery. Thankfully, it is relatively uncommon. The most frequent complication associated with otoplasty is relapse. You are probably already aware of this. I agree that 4 mm of asymmetry is less than desirable. Whatever the case, a "minor revision" should be possible under local anesthesia. This may involve reopening the incision behind the ear and using either sutures, cartilage remodeling, or both to achieve greater symmetry. The best first step is to communicate this issue with your physician. In my practice, minor revisions are free of charge when they can be achieved under local anesthesia and when I performed the primary procedure. I hope this helps. Good luck!
Persistent asymmetry after otoplasty
Revising the persistently prominent ear may certainly be possible in your case. An examination would allow for a better assessment of what would need to be done to correct the problem.
The cartilage in the ear has "memory". It wants to move back to its original shape. That is why most of us try to file down the front of the cartilage when we do this operation. In any case, our office tends to wait a few months before considering re-do surgery. This allows the swelling to go down. The scar also needs to set up. It is difficult to comment on your particular case without before and after photos. Do tell your plastic surgeon your concerns. It is important that he knows...
If the cartilage framework is close to symmetrical bilaterally, many times a small (under 5-6mm) correction can be attained with a minor procedure. That would involve a skin excision and should take no more than 10 minutes. There is very little healing time associated with this.