Is the Incisionless Otoplasty Procedure a Total Waste of Time?

I am considering having Otoplasty done but want to avoid the recovery times associated with the traditional technique. My ears only protrude at the top (I'd say maybe the top third of the ear) and these are the parts I want set back...I don't really want the 'bowl' part of my ear any closer to my head. I've heard that the incisionless technique is good for this type of Otoplasty - can anyone advise? I'm just a bit concerned of the lack of before/after photos on the internet...

Doctor Answers 5

Let the surgeon decide best Otoplasty Technique (Incisionless vs traditional)

Nearly incisionless Otoplasty is possible but may not be practical
Incision-less Otoplasty vs Conventional Methods:
My best advice is to pick the surgeon and not the technique. Few surgeons use the incision-less technique as it is a "blind" technique though this may be effective in the right hands. FYI, tiny incisions/holes are made in the skin in the "incisionless" technique  by varying size needles which occasionally requires some stitches.  Make sure you look for long term results. 

An Otoplasty procedure can be done with limited incisions (minimally invasive) behind the ears allowing for direct visualization and greater control in reshaping the ear cartilage until you have the right shape with the sutures used just to insure it remains in this shape during the healing period and also allowing for skin re-draping on the changed ear cartilage framework .

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Scarless otoplasty can be very effective

Scarless otoplasty can be a very effective operation for patients who have relatively minor excess projection of the upper third of the ears. It involves scoring the cartilage in front of the ears to reduce the cartilage 'memory' which allows it to fold backwards easier.  The cartilage is then held in place with sutures that are buried under the skin and are usually permanent.

There are two reasons why you may have had trouble finding before and after photographs on the web.  Most candidates for otoplasty need more of a correction that what can be accomplished with just a suture otoplasty and the results tend to be more subtle which may not show up as well in photographs.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

The best time to correct is in the first few weeks of life.

There is now a totally non-invasive technique to correct ear shape problems, but this has to be done in the first few weeks of life ideally.

The device is called the Earwell made by Becon Medical. The results are great, and will probably eventually prevent the need for surgery in adults.

Rodney A. Green, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Otoplasty Techniques

Looking at your photo, ALL parts of your ear need to be addressed, so that you have a normal and balanced ear.  This is IMPOSSIBLE with the technique you are describing and your result will be sub-optimal. For the past ten years, I have used an incision behind the ear which is virtually invisible unless one lifts the ear back and looks very closely.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Incisionless Otoplasty

The "incisionless Otoplasty" is not entirely incisionless. It uses a very small incision to allow access of a rasp to score the cartilage and allow it to bend. From your posterior picture it is impossible to tell if you are a candidate or not. Even if you are not, standard Otoplasty can be done as an outpatient and you can return to most normal activities in a day or so. See a Plastic Surgeon with experience in Otoplasty..

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.