Is the Incisionless Otoplasty a Good Option for Teens?

Doctor Answers 7

Is incisionless otoplasty a good choice for teens?

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The incisionless otoplasty technique is an excellent option for teenagers. This approach for the treatment of outstanding or prominent ears allows us to correct the ear deformity by placing permanent sutures percutaneously and burying them under the skin. This avoids the need for incisions or skin removal behind the ear. The technique has been used with great success in my practice in patients of all ages.

Is Incisionless Otoplasty a Good Option?

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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.  Make sure you look for long term results. Most otoplasties 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 .

Incisionless otoplasty: no incisions for prominent ears

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As stated the "incisionless" otoplasty requires the ear to be easily contoured using percutaneous placement of permanent sutures that are similar to those placed during traditional open otoplasty. However the success depends on the ability to bend or flex the cartilage as well as concealing the sutures without having them become exposed. This is not as easy as it sounds and requires supple and thin cartilage to be successful.  

Incisionless otoplasty is a good technique

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The incision-less Otoplasty is a very good technique for teens.  It is useful in properly selected individuals.  However, the technique is only as good as the surgeon.  it should also be kept in mind that it is not the technique that is important but the result.  It is best to consult an experienced ear surgeon to see what technique is best for your situation.

Robert Mounsey, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

Incisionless otoplasty versus traditional methods

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The best method for you depends completely on each ear. In our practice, when patients present for an otoplasty they usually have two different ears. Their ears may vary in shape, position, and size. If you are only interested in changing the contour of the ear or the rim, and incisionless otoplasty may be all that's necessary. However, if you would like your ears set back, a small incision behind your ear in the crease where your ear meets your scalp is necessary.

Incisionless otoplasty OK for some

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The incision-less technique for otoplasty is ideal for children or teenagers that have soft and malleable ear cartilages. For those with strong cartilages the traditional technique is better and the scar being behind the ear is of no consequence.

Incisionless Otoplasty for teens depends

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It depends.

If YOUR cause of prominent ears is JUST a mild flattening of the antihelix, then, yes, placing a few permanent sutures will address it nicely.

BUT, if you have OTHER deformities of the ear as well such as a very prominent bowl (concha) which may need to rotated more towards the back of the ear and, or its rim removed to create a more shallow, visually pleasing concha, or other deformities such as a deformed or elongated ear lobule, obtaining a nicer result WOULD require surgical techniques that leave scars on the ears.

BUT, such scars heal extremely well in the vast majority of people and are rarely a source of regret.

I hope this was helpful.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis 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.