With the traditional methods still used by most doctors today, incisions are made, skin is removed, and the ear cartilage is reshaped. This results in risks such as pain that lasts for days, infections requiring antibiotic therapy, weeks of wearing head bandages, swellings, effusions of blood, scars, corners, pulling of the auricle surface, and inpatient treatment. In the professional medical lingo, these are referred to as the Stenström, Pitanguy, and Mustardé procedures (and further methods derived from them). In addition to the complications mentioned above, these procedures are expensive and may require taking time off school or work. Ears that protrude again after the procedure are no rarity.
The most common previous (traditional) otoplasty methods are:
This method is often confused with the Merck stitch method. However, the Mustardé method has nothing to do with the Merck stitch method. With the Mustarde method there is frequently an incision behind the ear and skin is removed. The stitches are placed in the open operation wound.
In the information leaflet from the Procompliance company you can read about the following possible complications of the operations for correcting protruding ears with the traditional method in detail:
“ Bleeding, that usually ceases by itself or can be stopped immediately. Stonger pain after the operation, which can indicate a too tight-fitting or slipped bandage, or the development of a haematoma. In these cases a medical checkup is urgently required. Follow-up surgery may be required for a bigger haematoma. Disturbances in the sensitivity to touch in the area around the skin incision that disappear by themselves after a while; hypersensitivity reactions to the threads with which the cartilage/wound has been sewn up; the stitch material then pierces the skin surface after some weeks; infections of the wound or ear cartilage; wound healing can hereby be delayed, resulting in the possibility of the occurrence of changes in the shape of the ear, that strongly limit the success of the procedure; destruction of skin or cartilage through disturbances in blood circulation occur extremely rarely; the risk is increased when earlier procedures were performed on the outer ear. Operative covering of defects is possible; disturbances in scar formation; thick, bulging, discoloured, painful and itchy scars ( scar growths, keloids) can develop due to a constitutional predisposition. Narrowing of the ear canal entrance that may require operative treatment.
The result can also be changed after the procedure by scar formation, the cutting through of sunken stitches or by retractive forces of the cartilage, so that a deformation of the ear can occur once more. Similarly, due to pronounced scar tissue, the ears can be pinned too closely to the head, particularly in the middle region, making the upper part and/or the earlobe appear protruding .“
This page was last updated 9 May 2013