Otoplasty poses various risks, including:
- Scarring. While scars are permanent, they'll likely be hidden behind your ears or within the creases of your ears.
- Asymmetry in ear placement. This could occur as a result of changes during the healing process. Also, surgery might not successfully correct pre-existing asymmetry.
- Changes in skin sensation. During otoplasty, the repositioning of your ears can temporarily affect skin sensation in the area. Rarely, changes are permanent.
- Problems with stitches. Stitches used to secure the ear's new shape might work their way to the surface of the skin and need to be removed. This can cause inflammation of the affected skin. As a result, you might need additional surgery.
- Overcorrection. Otoplasty can create unnatural contours that make ears appear to be pinned back.
Like any other type of major surgery, otoplasty poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia. It's also possible to have an allergic reaction to the surgical tape or other materials used during or after the procedure.
Nov. 30, 2016
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- Handler ET, et al. Complications of otoplasty. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic of North America. 2013; 21:653. Review.
- Flint PW, et al. Otoplasty. In: Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 16, 2015.
- Bite U (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 14, 2015.