Should I have an otoplasty revision? (photo)

I had otoplasty a month ago and my ears are looking like the way they use to be. At the they looked good the first 2 weeks and now they aren't. I've been wearing the headband 24/7 for 4 weeks. What do you think? Should I go for revision?

Doctor Answers 4

Should I have an otoplasty revision?

Hello Danna32.
Nothing can be said yet about the final result after one month. That can often first be evaluated after 3 months, sometimes not till after 6 months. From what you say, your ears first lay very close to your head and now they’ve moved slightly outwards again at the top. That is actually quite normal because an experienced surgeon usually performs a so-called over-correction in the top third due to the knowledge that the top part of the ears very often move outwards again by a few millimetres. That has also happened with your ears now. However, I see the following cause of the present asymmetry of the top part of your ears – your right ear has a special anatomical feature in that the helix in the upper part is bent forwards and outwards, which is not present to this degree in the other ear. Thus, one thinks that the ear is slightly protruding again at the top. Only a photo from the back, which has been taken exactly from the middle of the head and in which the hair around the ear has been plastered closely against the head with gel, would be able to show whether the ears at the top are equally far away from the head or not, and whether the optical impression of the right ear protruding again is due solely to the described anatomical feature, or to the ear moving more outwards than the other one. There would be 2 possible solutions when at least 3 months have passed since the operation: either one pins the ear that is furthest from the head closer to the head at the top with more stitches, which is easy and minimal invasiv with the stitch method and doesn’t involve any cutting with the traditionel method, or one surgically removes a little of the skin of the helix in the upper third which, however, has nothing to do with an otoplasty.

Germany Plastic Surgeon

Otoplasty Revision

Thank you for the pictures.  I would agree that there does appear to be some relapse of ear protrusion, specifically at the top(superior) portion of the ear.  Typically, overcorrection is performed during surgery to account for "relaxation" of the ear shape over the first few postoperative months.  It is very possible that one of the sutures utilized to "pin back" the ear has failed.  Usually the suture unravels or tears through the cartilage if tied too tight.  I would suggest you followup with your operating surgeon for evaluation.  Good Luck

Anthony Corrado, DO
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Expectations after Otoplasty

Otoplasty is usually done with some minor overcorrection, as the ears do tend to come out a little after the procedure.  However, a good otoplasty result will provide an ear shape which looks natural and attractive, with ears in a normal shape and position.  If the ears come out too much from the head over the first 6 months or so, a revision may be beneficial.  It is important to let the ears heal first, because reoperation on the ears too soon may result in healing problems.

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

When to consider revision otoplasty

While your ears do appear to be improved, I agree with you that they have both protruded to some degree. One month is too early to perform a revision but you should discuss this with your otoplasty surgeon. In some cases, if the only issue is that the upper part of the ear has unfolded you might do well with an "incisionless" approach which has little downtime and can be performed in the office. Happy holidays!

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