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I Still Have Stitches from an Otoplasty Left in After Almost 13 Years, Would It Be Wise to Get Them Removed?

I am 18 years old and I had an otoplasty done when I was 5, the stitches are still in at the top of both my ears and are frequently becoming infected at the site. Would it be wise to get them removed after such a long time?

Doctor Answers (6)

I Still Have Stitches from an Otoplasty Left in After Almost 13 Years, Would It Be Wise to Get Them Removed?

+1

Permanent sutures are often used to hold the reshaped cartilage when an otoplasty is performed.  They can erode through the skin and become infected years after the surgery.

They can be easily and safely removed at this point.  Removal will clear up the infections and will not affect the shape of the ear this long after surgery.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

I Still Have Stitches from an Otoplasty Left in After Almost 13 Years

+1

These are permanent sutures and do not need to be removed unless there is a problem. If they are causing issues, they can safely be removed.

Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Infected sutures should be removed

+1

During an otoplasty it is common to use sutures on the cartilage that are permanent.  Most of the time these can stay in place forever.  If the stitches become infected or come to the surface they need to be removed.  After this much time the cartilage should not have a problem holding its shape.  Best Wishes, Dr. Peterson

Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Otoplasty sutures poking through the skin after 13 years

+1

More than likely a permanent type nylon suture was used.  If these are poking through the skin it is best to have them removed.  They have already served there purpose and there will be no change to the shape of your nose when removed.  

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Otoplasty stitches infected

+1

in general you'd like to leave the sutures in place. However, if you're having continued issues with infection or at the very least chronic inflammation it would be wise to remove them. You should consult with a few facial plastic surgeons before proceeding

please forgive typos this was sent via voice-recognition

Chase Lay, MD

double board certified facial plastic surgeon

Web reference: http://chaselaymd.com/Otoplasty__Ear_Pinning_.html

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

I Still Have Stitches from an Otoplasty Left in After Almost 13 Years, Would It Be Wise to Get Them Removed?

+1

The sutures are typically left in to maintain the shape of the ear. However, given that you're experiencing frequent infections an argument could be made to remove the offending sutures. The risk that needs to be balanced is that removal of one or more sutures could allow the upper part of your ear to re-protrude. Unfortunately if that occurs and it troubles you revision surgery would be the only option for re-shaping the ear. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Web reference: http://weberfacialplasticsurgery.com/otoplasty/

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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.

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