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Otoplasty - techniques, characteristics and risks

German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; Düsseldorf
Publication Date
  • Otoplasty
  • Combination Of Incision
  • Scoring And Suture Technique
  • Cartilage Characteristics
  • Risks
  • Ddc:610


The protruding ear as a minor ear abnormality is found in approx. 5% of the German population and may give rise to serious emotional problems in children and also in adults. In general, the procedure used for the surgical correction of protruding ears (otoplasty) is a combination of incision, scoring and suture techniques. The choice of the surgical procedure is based on the severity of the ear abnormality and the individual characteristics of the auricular cartilage. In children up to the age of ten years, a soft, elastic or easily pliable auricular cartilage is often still present. In this situation, gentle suture techniques, such as a suturing technique described by Mustardé, are frequently enough to achieve a cosmetically good and lasting result. In adults, the auricular cartilage has already become stiff. Therefore, a combination of incision, scoring and suture techniques is usually required. Apart from reducing the cephaloauricular angle to 15-20°, emphasis on the antihelical fold and a smooth rim of the helix without interruption of the contour are desirable outcomes of this operation. Occasionally, surgical fixation (lobulopexy) may be required to treat protruding lobules or, in rare cases, an additional conchal reduction may become necessary in cases of conchal hyperplasia. Since postoperative complications can often result in severe auricular deformities, as a matter of principle, each ear should be analysed individually regarding its problem areas, and the surgical approach that causes the least injury to the cartilage should be used.

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