Otoplasty Overcorrection

hello i recently had otoplasty surgery my ears seems to be over corrected and dont look normal at all i was wondering once the dissovable stitches come out will they spring out at all? i am very concerned and not happy about them. could u please help!

Doctor Answers 17

Over Correct Ear Position During Otoplasty

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In the post-operative period ear cartilage has a tendency to relax and spring forward.  For this reason, it’s not unusual for surgeons to slightly over correct the ear position during otoplasty.

When this occurs, the ears appear to be tightly fixed to the side of the head.  When this happens gentle massage of the ear is appropriate.  Over the course of time the ears relax and may spring forward.  This may take 2 to 3 months and usually results in a normal ear position.  Since absorbable sutures were used there’s a good chance that some improvement will occur.

It’s important that you stay close, to your surgeon.  Your surgeon should be able to make appropriate recommendations.  In a small number of cases the ears won’t spring forward.  If the ears haven’t come forward in six months secondary revision may be necessary.

Otoplasty Overcorrection

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If the swelling from the initial surgery has subsided, and you feel your ears have been overcorrected, you may benefit from a revision to "relax" the ear. Depending on the specific technique used, you may or may not expect the ear to relax slightly in the coming year. However, for many otoplasty techniques, the change can be permanent if you wait too long. The best thing to do is to contact your surgeon to be evaluated. Best of luck!

Jen Yuan Chow, MD
Pasadena Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Otoplasty Overcorrection

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I hope that your problem has been resolved now. In case it hasn’t been yet, then it will depend on whether you were operated on with the traditional or the stitch method. With ears that were operated on with the traditional method, it is not always easy to move the ears further away from the head again due to the scar formation. With ears that were operated on with the stitch method, one only needs to remove the top thread and, if necessary, replace it with a new thread that is not pulled so tightly.

Waldemar Merck, MD
Germany Plastic Surgeon

Overcorrected otoplasty

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Waiting for a natural rebound of the ears is always the best bet.  If you progress to more than 2-3 months postop, your overcorrection will likely be long-lasting.  Massaging the ears strategically may help release some of the tension from your sutures, but if you had significant cartilage removal, massage then may not work too well.  In the latter case a revisioin may be necessary.  In general, always talk to your doctor, who of course would know the particular procedure you had done.  A thorough evaluation is necesary.


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I agree with you on your photos.  Usually ears will relapse  a certain after otoplasy.  I would give it several months before considering revision.  Donald Nunn MD Plastic Surgeon.

Can otoplasty overcorrection be fixed?

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There is always some initial overcorrection that adjusts after several weeks.  If, by 4-6 weeks, the ears still look too close to the head then the likelihood is that a correction is needed.  The problem can be solved, but how depends on the techniques used in the first operation.  Most likely thre are stitches inside the ear that can be released and replaced more loosely to adjust the position. 

Neal Goldberg, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon

Ears too tight against my head

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The question is when is "recently?"  If you had the surgery in the last couple of weeks, you have nothing to worrry about ( but speak with your physician in any event). If you had surgery more than a few months ago, you should inquire about a revision procedure.

Joshua Korman, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews


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Yes, if dissolvable sutures were used, over-correction is necessary because the ear will relax back once the sutures dissolve. In order to see an improvement, the doctor must over correct. When I perform an Otoplasty, I use permanent sutures. As a result, over-correction is not necessary and the results are permanent.

Otoplasty Over Correction

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The ears have a tendency to return to their original shape. This is why plastic surgeons tend to over correct slightly, to allow for "recoil". Do not be alarmed and wait until your ears are done healing, which typically takes about 6-12 weeks. When you return to your plastic surgeon for a follow up, discuss your concerns. I’m sure they will explain the procedure and reassure you of a favorable outcome after the healing process is mature. If there is persistent over-correction, it may be correctable with a minor touch up in the appropriate time frame.

Overdone Otoplasty: Don't have to live with it.

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Nearly all Otoplasty techniques rely upon permanent sutures in the cartilages to hold them in place.  Exploring the repair, re-doing the sutures may be all that is required.  It would be wise to obtain the original operative report to see exactly how it was done the first time.

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 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.