Incisionless Otoplasty Possible? (photo)

I simply want to "fold in/pin back" the "top" (protruding part) of my ear although the "base" of my ear is perfectly fine (sorry for my crude jargon) Can this be done with incision-less otoplasty and what price to expect? Is this a difficult/rare procedure or fairly common request? Down time and how long would I be wearing bandages?

Doctor Answers 7

Nearly incisionless Otoplasty is possible but may not be practical

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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. 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. 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

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Incisionless otoplasty ironically requires an incision.  A better term for this approach would be small incision otoplasty.  The issue is that the ear may have a scar on the front portion of the ear.  Standard otoplasty incision is behind the ear and may have more predictable results as well as a better location behind the ear.  Downtime for either is typically for about a week, although many patients feel comfortable in public much sooner.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Otoplasty incision

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The top part of the ear projects outwards from the head is due to a lack of an antihelical fold.  Two small cuts are made in the cartilage to weaken the spring; suturing techniques then recreate the fold.  The procedure takes approximately 1 hour and is performed through a 1-1/2 inch incision behind the ear under local anesthesia.  The cost for bilateral otoplasty is around $4,200 (surgery and operating room).  Bandages are only worn for the first day or 2 after the procedure, while a headband is worn at night to prevent the patient from rolling over onto their ear while asleep.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Incisionless Otoplasty

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What you describe that you want to achieve is definitely possible through an incisionless otoplasty. A permanent suture is placed through the skin and the ear cartilage can be reshaped to complete the upper part of the fold that is partially unfurled in your case. The stitch is tunneled back into the space under the skin through the same hole thus burying it under the skin. The cartilage is scored with a needle to slightly weaken it and to promote scar tissue. This procedure works beautifully, specially in cases like yours. Good luck.


Dr. A. Gantous

Andres Gantous, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Incisionless otoplasty?

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There is no such animal as an incisionless otoplasty.  Unfortunately the ear cartilage needs to be significantly changed and that requires surgery.

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Otoplasty is Best Preformed With an Incision Behind the Ear

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What you need is a small incision behing your ear and several permanent sutures placed in the cartilage to fold it back-It can be done under straight local anesthesia and is fairly easy to accomplish. This is the best chance for you to have a permanent result.


D. Medalie, MD

An Incision-less Otoplasty is Possible, But May Not Be Your Best Option

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From the photos you certainly are a good candidate for an otoplasty. There are pros and cons to an incision-less procedure, and I'm not sure that this would really be the best procedure for you. Given that, the best course of action for you at this point would be to make appointments for consultations with several board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeons in your area. When making your appointments be sure and ask about their experience with otoplasty (not just the incision-less procedure) so that you see surgeons who do a fair amount of these particular procedures. After having your consultations you will better be able to determine the correct course of action.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 28 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.