Would surgery fix my misshapen ear cartilage? (photo)

I got my tragus pierced the summer of 2011, but it got infected and swelled up so I had to get it lanced. Unfortunately, the conch part of my ear also swelled but I didn't get that lanced and now I can't wear headphones, moisture builds up in my ear, and I'm very self conscious about it. Would surgery fix this problem? I have attached photos of my good ear and my bad ear to compare. Will it ever look normal again?

Doctor Answers 4

Ear Surgery for misshapen ears

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Hi Tja8x2, 

Please consult with your ENT surgeon to assess whether the narrowing also involve the external ear canal, if not, then a simple conchalplasty will solve the problem pretty easily, but if the external ear canal is also involved, then canaloplasty together with conchalplasty may be needed.

Treatment of narrow ear canal

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I agree with you that your photo does appear to show a narrow ear canal on one side and prominent ears on both sides. The narrow ear canal can be treated but does require surgery to remove cartilage and possibly some scar tissue/ fibrosis. The main risk of the procedure is the area narrowing again after surgery and your chosen surgeon should discuss this possibility with you. I do recommend in your case that you see a Facial Plastic Surgeon who has training in both facial plastic surgery and all aspects of surgery on the outer, middle and inner ear.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Surgery can improve many things

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but you really need to see a local plastic surgeon to be evaluated and to listen to your history of how this all happened and determine if your ears are a result of your piercing or something that you simply had all your life.

Would surgery fix my misshapen ear cartilage?

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Hello fja8x2,
To be able to answer your question, I have to know when your tragus got infected and when you had it lanced.

Waldemar Merck, MD
Germany 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.