How much of a chance is there for keloid to form after ear reduction surgery?

I'm planning on doing an ear pinning and reshaping surgery, however my surgeon told me that there is a chance for keloid to build up on my scar. How much of a chance is it? Is it too risky to do the surgery? And is there a way to avoid it/remove it?

Doctor Answers 4


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Keloid (an unusually thick and prominent scar) formation is always a possibility in any type of surgery as surgical incisions go through the healing and scar maturation process. Some of the factors involve include the patient's skin genetics including pigmentation, the tension on the wound, surgical technique, adherence to optimal postoperative care and preventive measures. The risk of prominent scar formation in otoplasty is relatively higher than some other facial surgeries such as nose job, eyelid or brow surgeries, but still low, and there are measures to lower its chance and also revise it if needed.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Unlikely, but not impossible

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If you are considering otoplasty, but have keloids in other areas, then I would consider discussing with your surgeon the option of incisionless otoplasty.  The risk is small, except in those prone to keloids, where the risk is considerably higher.  A conservative setback can be accomplished without making incisions and would be a great option for someone that is at a known higher risk for keloids.  If you are not otherwise at high risk, then the open approach has a greater chance of giving you more predictable, long lasting results.  

Michael J. Nuara, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

The risk is small

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typically behind the ear incisions heal well.  The risk of a hypertrophic scar or a keloid are never zero, but they are pretty small.

Marwan R. Khalifeh, MD
Chevy Chase Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Keloids and otoplasty

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While the risk of keloid formation in the incision behind the ear is small, it's not zero.  Discuss your concerns, and personal and family history of scars with your surgeon during your preoperative consultation.  Treatment of keloids, should they form, involves scar excision, steroid injections, and low-dose radiation therapy.  Good luck!

Inessa Fishman, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.