Can Ear Surgeries Be Revised?

I had my ears pinned. The ears are not pinned the same amount, and one is pinned back too far. Is this a procedure that can be "reversed" at least a bit?


Doctor Answers 20

Ear surgeries can be revised

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If one ear is pinned back to far you can revise it to make it so it matches with the other side. In terms of the approach to reverse this it would depend on how the pinning was done. If the pinning was largely due to curling of the antihelix then you may need to release the curl and the scarring that is maintaining that will need to be released.

Additional sutures may be needed to recreate or set the curl to the desired amount. If the excessive pinning is due to the conchal setback then you may need to release the setback suture and possibly add some tissue to give it some support in the more lateral position.

If the setback is due to cartilage excision, you may need some cartilage grafts to reconstruct the concha in the more lateral position that is more desirable. Some of the tissue that could be needed is cartilage that can be used to lift the ear at its base to help lateralize the ear. This is a technique that is used in microtia or ears that are severly malformed.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Secondary Revisional Surgery for Otoplasty

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Occasionally, patients who undergo otoplasty require secondary revisional surgery.  This type of surgery can be performed when residual deformities are present but can be difficult. Post-surgical changes and scarring can contribute to this difficulty.

When the ears are too close to the side of the head, revision can be accomplished by releasing structural sutures and scarring.  In most cases symmetry can be accomplished with this approach. Occasionally a bilateral procedure may be necessary to obtain symmetry.  This might involve bringing the opposite ear closer to the head with additional structural sutures.

It’s important to discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon.  After a physical exam your surgeon should be able to formulate an appropriate treatment plan for your asymmetry.

Revisional Otoplasty

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If there are issues from your initial otoplasty, you can choose to do a revisional otoplasty. Depending on what point you are at during your healing process, you should wait to see the full results. If enough time has passed, I recommend seeing your facial plastic surgeon for a revisional otoplasty or obtain a couple of opinions from other facial plastic surgeons to ensure the best results.

Carlo P. Honrado, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Revision otoplasty

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An otoplasty can be revised to correct asymmetry or under correction but it is advisable to wait for the residual swellng to go down before anticipating the need for such surgery. A revision can be performed under local anesthesia in the office.

Reversing an otoplasty

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Reversing an otoplasty can be challenging and difficult to predict. However, if this is a concern, the wound can be explored and possibly reversed. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Reversing ear surgery

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It is possible to reverse slightly the ear that is pinned too much although it is a challenging procedure. It might be easier to pin the other ear back further. Conservative measures if your are not too far out can help the ear that is pinned back too much as well. I hope this information helps.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Yes, revision Otoplasty is possible

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Revision otoplasty is possible.  I would recommend seeing your surgeon to get his opinion on your result.  If you have any concerns after this visit seek a second opinion.  I often tell patient's "Breasts are like sisters, they look alike, but are not identical".  This goes for ears as well.  Warmest Regrards, Dr. Pippin.

Gregory Pippin, MD
Metairie Facial Plastic Surgeon

Revision Otoplasty

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Revision otoplasty is certainly possible.  The actual procedure done will determine what can be modified.  If cartilage has been cut or removed, then revision may be limited or impossible.  Seek a second opinion by an experienced surgeon and bring a copy of your operative report for him to review. 

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Otoplasty revision

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Otoplasty surgery can be revised. However, you must weigh the benefits of redoing the surgery with the risks. IIf the difference is greater than 1 - 2 millimeters, you may wish to consider a revision.  You will need to accept that the ears will not be precisely the same. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Revising asymmetric ears after otoplasty

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Yes, your ears can be revised after otoplasty.  Otoplasty is a surgery of millimeters.  A difference of more than 3 mm between the 2 ears will be noticed by the human eye.  If your ears were symmetric after your surgery, and now they are not, it is possible that a suture failed early in the healing process so you lost some correction on one side.  It is usually just a matter of replacing this suture in order to correct the problem.  This can be done once the initial swelling has resolved, usually after 3 months or so. If the difference between the two ears is more subtle, then it is best to wait a full year before a revision.  Hope that helps!

Minas Constantinides, MD
Austin 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.