Otoplasty On My 7 Year Old 3 Weeks Ago, Noticed a Hole Behind the Ears?

My 7y/o daughter had otoplasty (ear pinning) done about 3 weeks ago. They used disolvable stitches and yesterday we noticed a hole behind the ears where they stitched. This morning woke up with bloody head band. It looked the stitches came apart before the ears healed. Will it heal or will we have to have surgery again. The doctor is out of town and the interim doctor just put medical tape to hold the suture together. What should we do? Get a new plastic surgeon or just wait it out?

Doctor Answers 5

Hole Behind Ear After Otoplasty - What Should Be Done?

The good news is that the skin behind her ear which has come apart does not hold the ear down to the side of the head.  There is a whole bunch of internal sutures and maneuvers that hold the ear in the new position.  It is hard to say without an in person physical exam, but my educated assumption would be that your daughter had a collection of blood known as a hematoma.  This created pressure behind the ear, and as the sutures dissolved, the hematoma leaked out onto her headband. 

I doubt that she is actively bleeding at 3 weeks, therefore, if no infection intervenes, this wound should heal quickly and without complications.  If anything changes, redness, foul smell, etc., please see your plastic surgeon asap.

Otoplasty incision issues

Otoplasty incisions typically heal quite rapidly,usually within the first week.  However, it sounds like there was wound separation in the incision 3 weeks after the procedure which is unusual.  If the separation was relatively minor, tape or a steristrip may be a good option.  If the separation is larger, a suture may be a better option.  Speak with the intermin physician (presumably trained in otoplasty surgery and/or incisions) or consider advice from a nearby surgeon if your original surgeon is not available.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 163 reviews

You should consider a second opinion regarding your child's otoplasty surgery while your surgeon is out-of-town.

It's unusual for a wound to open, with a head band on, 3 weeks following otoplasty surgery. If the appearance of your child's ears looks favorable, further surgery might not be necessary.

Your surgeon likely has a "covering" physician while he's out-of-town. If not, get a second opinion from another reputable facial plastic surgeon for reassurance, and to rule-out infection and to answer the question whether any short-term intervention may be necessary.

Hope this helps you.

Dr. Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Incision Line Problem and Bleeding after Otoplasty?

I'm sorry to hear about the complication your daughter has experienced after otoplasty surgery. I am sure that your plastic surgeon has a covering physician (plastic surgeon) while he is out of town. It may be in your best interest to have that plastic surgeon evaluate your daughter's incision line.

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Otoplasty Healing: What to Expect with the Healing Process

Thank you for your question regarding the healing following otoplasty.   In most cases, the sutures behind the ears which normally dissolve are only needed about 2 weeks or less.  Within about 2 weeks, the skin has healed sufficiently to create a seal over the internal sutures and cartilage.    If the skin has not healed after 2 weeks, its healing may be compromised and the use of "steri-strips" is certainly reasonable.   It may be best to have a second opinion if you are concerned that the treating doctor is doing the right thing.

Good luck!

Dr. Bresnick 

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 32 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.