Is ear cartilage okay to use as lower eyelid spacer?

I am scheduled for a 2nd "repair" surgery to lengthen short lateral canthus, improve scleral overshow, and fix mild ectropion caused by 1st "repair" (didn't have this particular problem before.) The new surgeon, a prominent oculoplastic and plastic surgeon has recommended using ear cartilage as a spacer. ( 1st repair , also performed by oculoplastic surgeon used porcine which caused severe inflammation...body reabsorbed apparently. Question: Has anyone used ear cartilage with success?

Doctor Answers 3

Eyelid Surgery

Thank you for your question about eyelid surgery.

Yes, ear cartilage is an excellent spacer to supplement the middle lamella in correction of scleral show or ectropion.

To be sure, see two or more experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeons, occuloplastic surgeons or facial ENT plastic surgeons in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.

I hope this helps.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Ear Cartilage

It sounds like you have been through a tough recovery after eyelid surgery.  Ear cartilage or hard palate are excellent alternatives for lifting a retracted lower eyelid.  While it is tough to tell which would be best for you without a photograph or office consultation, it does sound like you have been recommended the right treatment.  Good luck with your procedure!

Samuel Baharestani, MD
Long Island Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Is Ear Cartilage a Good Spacer Graft for Lower Eyelids?

Yes it can be an excellent spacer material.  Depending upon the severity of lower eyelid retraction, I prefer hard palate grafts or acellular dermis or your own dermis for less severe cases.  I have seen ear cartilage grafts occasionally curl a bit once they heal into place.  Some surgeons try to avoid hard palate grafts because of postop discomfort until the harvest site in the mouth is healed, but use of "BMX" solution that can obtained with a prescription at a compounding pharmacy is very helpful to improve the postop comfort.  Best regards.

John R. Burroughs, MD
Colorado Springs Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.