Ear still sticks out after surgery. (Photos)

My daughter (7) had recently received otoplasty 3 weeks ago, but her ears are still sticking out in the same shape. I know ears can spring back even up to a year after surgery but I'm afraid they will spring out any more! I don't know if I could persuade her to go through another operation. She is due to go to her consultant in 6 weeks time, should i make an appointment for earlier? The pics I've loaded are the day she got get bandages off but they have reverted back to the first pic but not just as bad!

Doctor Answers 4


This result will not improve with conservative measures.  If anything, the ears tend to migrate back out somewhat in the first several months to one year following the procedure.  I would recommend re-evaluation by your daughter's primary surgeon or obtain a second opinion if you are not satisfied with the aesthetic outcome.

Good luck!

Wayne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 156 reviews

Surgery not effective?

I don't think that other measures will work for her problem. The only solution is to go back and have the procedure redone properly which should involve enough mobilization cartilage work, skin removal, and stable fixation sutures.

Somyos Kunachak, MD
Thailand Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Otoplasty not as effective?

Best to contact your surgeon and see if your daughter should wear some kind of compression over her ears until her appointment.  Otherwise there really isn't much you can do to change what is happening.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Ear still sticks out after surgery.

Hello lisa82.
First of all you should wait at least 3 months, better still 6 months, after the operation. Only then can the final result be judged. However, I believe that it can already be said now, that even then the upper third of the ears, in comparison to the middle and lower thirds, will protrude too much. The cause is not only that the ears were not pinned strongly enough here, but also because of the particular anatomy of the ears – the outer ear edge (called helix in medical terms) in the upper third of the ears is shovel-shaped and bent forwards and outwards, and has a significantly greater distance to the inner ear fold (antihelix) than in the middle and lower thirds of the ear. Such anatomical features are relatively common. It must be noted, that ears with such an anatomy, even if pinned well, will be more visible in the upper parts than in the parts lying below that. If this problem is too annoying, then there are 2 possibilities: either she has the wide antihelix in the upper third surgically narrowed, which then has nothing to do with an otoplasty, and which patients hardly ever want, or she has the upper third pinned even closer to the head. That would only be possible with the traditional method if the ear is cut open again and a new thread is inserted. Or it would be possible without cutting open, with the new stitch method. Basically, you would still have to know that further pinning of the upper third means an over-correction and over-corrected ears have the tendency to resist the over-correction and like to move out a little again post-operatively.

Waldemar Merck, MD
Germany Plastic Surgeon

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