July 22, 2015
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Surgeons remain flexible in treating variety of complex auricular deformities

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Hundreds of surgical techniques have been developed to treat prominent ears, which affect 5% of the population, according to new research from JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Prominent ears typically have larger conchomastoid angles: Normal values are approximately 25° in males and 20° in females.

The researchers explained that age is a critical factor in evaluating and surgical decision-making.

Normal auricles reach approximately 90% of adult size by 3 years of age.

Researchers recommend recording the superior helical rim, mid helical rim and cauda helicis measurements to the mastoid. Prominent ears usually have bigger measurements than the normal measurements of 10 mm to 12 mm superiorly, 16 mm to 18 mm at the middle third, and 20 mm to 22 mm at the cauda helicis, according to researchers.

The position of the lobule in relation to the helical rim and the stiffness of the auricular cartilage should also be noted.

Over the past 50 years, hundreds of techniques have been developed and no one technique is effective in all cases.

Nonsurgical correction of auricular deformities were first reported in the 1980s.

The most debated topic in otoplasty may be the appropriate technique to handle underdevelopment of the antihelix, with physicians divided by cartilage cutting vs. cartilage sparing techniques.

Recently, the researchers said electromechanical reshaping has been studied to reshape auricular cartilage. This technique may offer the potential application as a minimally invasion technology which could be completed in-office, though further studies are necessary.

Surgeons’ flexibility to manage the variety and complexity of deformities in this condition is necessary. – by Abigail Sutton

Disclosure: The researchers reported no relevant financial disclosures.