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Topics - greengables

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Otoplasty Ear Surgery / Folded helix + missing piece of cartilage
« on: January 13, 2013, 01:55:50 AM »
Hello Dr. Bermant! This is my first time posting on this forum, but I have really learned a lot from your website. I have been gobbling up as much information on otoplasty as I can over the last few months (even checked out a few ear surgery textbooks from a university library!). Your information and examples have been very valuable.

I have protruding ears and my right ear is missing a "pillar" of cartilage near the top and has a slight folding of the helix, which gives it a downward slope from the head and makes it shorter than the other ear.

I found a surgeon I trust and was planning to have my ears taken back. However, the surgeon was very thorough and honest with me, and pointed out that pulling them back would make the lop right ear look slightly worse from the side. Though the folded ear looks minor in 3D space, when we move it closer to the head, the flatter 2D space exaggerates the appearance of the fold.

We played around with my ear and also used some drawings to visualize how the folded ear would look pulled back. Unfortunately, no matter what we did, I honestly think the right helix looks worse pulled back than it does protruding. Unless there is a way to improve the shape and height of the helix, I don't want to have the ears pulled back at all. Which is a disappointment considering how many years I've been planning to have this surgery. So I am wondering if there is a possible way to fix my particular helix.


1. Protruding ears
2. Right ear has downward slope from head and is shorter than other ear
3. Right helix missing a "pillar" of cartilage that is present in left ear only (see picture 5)
4. Right ear helix fold exaggerated when pinned back (see picture 3...yes I know surgically it would look better, but that's the general idea)
5. Top of right helix has "bony" points not present in left ear. Just in case this is important. (see picture 6)

I think it is similar to the example you gave on the Constricted Ear Page solved with bilateral banner flap reconstruction (

Photos are in this photobucket album:

My question is, could my helix's shape be improved using the bilateral method or another technique?

(By the way, I fully realize there are many people with far worse ears and they may look trivial to you...but as they're my ears and I have to live with them, if there is something to be done I would like to do it.)

Looking forward to hearing from  you.

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