Otoplasty – Patient 102
A delightful 8 year old troubled by prominent ears and getting teased at school. Analysis shows that she is missing the normal ear crease (“anti helix”), and her ear stands out too far from her head. It is important when performing an otoplasty (reshaping of the ears) to recreate a normal, beautiful ear. We do not want to simply push it back too far, form an unnaturally sharp crease in the cartilage, or have an ear that is overly tightened in the middle, top or bottom. She is shown 6 weeks after surgery with a gentle rasping of the cartilage to create a soft bend using a Dingman otoabrader (one of my teachers at the University of Michigan) and sutures described by a Dr. Mustarde to make the fold, sutures between the bowl of the cartilage and the fascia described by Dr. Furnas to bring the ear back, sutures described by Dr. Webster at the “tail” of the cartilage to prevent the ear lobe from being overly prominent, as well as a small skin excision behind the ear lobe to pull it back into position. She had a dressing wrapped around her ears for 2 days, and then wore an ear band while sleeping for the next month. Her smile after surgery is a reflection of the tremendous relief that she has by giving her normal, beautiful ears, and losing the burden of the deformity that caused her to be teased by her class mates.