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Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago

Ear Reconstruction
When Is Ear Reconstruction Needed?

 

Ear Reconstruction Chicago

Ear reconstruction is the term given to any surgical procedure that treats ear deformities, whether malformed from birth, underdeveloped during life, or caused by trauma. The goal of ear reconstruction is to create an ear shape that looks as natural as possible, restoring balance and symmetry to the face.

Ear Reconstruction

AM I A CANDIDATE FOR EAR RECONSTRUCTION?

The correction of malformed ears can have enormous benefits on self-esteem, confidence, and appearance. You may be a candidate for ear reconstruction if you suffer from microtia (congenital underdeveloped or missing ears) or have sustained injury to the ears through trauma.

Ear reconstruction is commonly performed on children with underdeveloped ears; the procedure can be carried out as early as seven years old, giving the opposite ear adequate time to reach nearly adult size.

Candidates for ear reconstruction should be generally healthy, non-smokers, and not have chronic medical conditions that cause impairment of the healing process.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR CONSULTATION

Ear reconstruction is an individualized process according to each patient’s aesthetic goals. During a consultation at the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, we walk you through every step of the procedure, review the associated risks, and discuss recovery. We thoroughly review your medical history, including known allergies, current medications, and past surgeries.

HOW EAR RECONSTRUCTION IS PERFORMED

There are multiple techniques associated with ear reconstruction, including prosthetics, but the most common approach is autologous ear reconstruction, which is a method that involves crafting a new ear shape out of the patient’s own rib cartilage.

After a general anesthetic is administered, incisions are made in the chest and cartilage from several ribs is carefully removed. The cartilage is then precisely shaped to create an ear framework, which is then surgically inserted beneath the scalp.

This technique usually requires two to three surgeries to complete; after the healing process is complete, subsequent surgeries involve elevating the ear away from the scalp, repositioning the ear lobe, and other necessary adjustments to ensure the appearance is as natural as possible.

A major benefit to the autologous ear reconstruction approach is that it uses the body’s own tissue and cartilage and does not involve any foreign substances. Not only does this decrease the risk of infection, but also the patient does not have to have it replaced and the risk of the body rejecting the reconstructed ear is minimal.

RECOVERY AFTER EAR RECONSTRUCTION

Discomfort and some amount of pain are normal after ear surgery. Patients will be given medication to ensure comfort. Bandages should remain intact until removed by your surgeon, and patients should avoid any contact with the ears as they heal.

Multiple surgeries are usually required for complete ear reconstruction. Patients can expect approximately six months of recovery before the next stage can be performed.

POTENTIAL RISKS OF EAR RECONSTRUCTION

Autologous ear reconstruction uses tissue from the patient’s own body, reducing the risk of infection. However, there are potential risks involved in any surgical procedure. The risks most commonly associated with ear reconstruction surgery are:

  • Bleeding
  • Hematoma (blood clot)
  • Skin discoloration
  • Change in skin sensation
  • Infection
  • Scarring

At the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, we take every measure possible to prevent any potential complication from arising. Patients can further minimize risks by adhering strictly to all instructions given by their plastic surgeon.

WHAT DOES EAR RECONSTRUCTION COST?

The cost of ear reconstruction is going to vary according to location, surgeon, surgical center, and individualized treatment plan. However, as a reconstructive procedure, your health insurance coverage may pay for some or even all of the cost of surgery. Be sure to talk with your health insurance provider before scheduling a consultation.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago is equally committed to patient education and excellent patient care. If you have any questions about ear reconstruction and how it is performed, please schedule a consultation. We will perform a full facial evaluation and tailor a treatment plan that is right for you and your aesthetic goals.

All surgical procedures by the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago are performed at top hospitals in Chicago and CMS or AAAASF-certified surgical centers for safety.

BEFORE & AFTER

Ear Reconstruction Before and After
Ear Reconstruction Before and After

 

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Proud of our research team for getting this published. In this article, we developed a unique risk assessment tool to predict major complications in facial aesthetic surgery. Thank you to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal for publishing our work.

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The hardest type of rhinoplasties for plastic surgeons to perform are cleft rhinoplasties. A major reason is that the anatomy of the nose and midface are asymmetric, therefore, you have an asymmetric nose sitting on top of an asymmetric midface. In this case, I used rib cartilage to rebuild the cartilage of the nose and fat transfer to improve asymmetries of the midface and lips. In the post-operative frontal views, you can see a straighter nose, the tip has been lifted, and the right nostril has been brought down and inwards. On profile view, you can see the dorsal hump was lowered, the tip of the nose has been lifted, rotated, and refined. The fat was placed in the cheeks and upper lip to improve the midface deficiency that is common in cleft lip patients. Posted with permission.

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Plastic surgery can be dramatic or understated. This is a before and after with subtle changes to improve the proportions and aesthetics of the nose in a natural way. This patient wanted only small changes of the dorsum and tip. In the post-operative photos, you can visualize the dorsal hump has been removed and the tip has been refined, slightly rotated and projected. Posted with permission.

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Couldn’t be happier for this beautiful patient and her natural before and after results. This patient is 3 months out from a deep plane or sub-SMAS facelift, neck lift, and facial fat transfer. Pay close attention to the neck, jawline, and midface or cheeks. In the post-operative views you can see a well-defined neck and jawline. The face appears less bottom heavy, there is restoration of the midface volume, and the overall facial configuration is more heart-shaped and youthful. Posted with permission.

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It’s been a minute but this is a great before and after of a facial feminization case and this patient is only 6 weeks out from surgery. Pay close attention to the hairline, the forehead, orbital rims, eyebrows, nose, chin and jawline. Does this patient look like they had major surgery 6 weeks ago? Posted with permission.

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Check out this interesting rhinoplasty case where I performed a combined primary rhinoplasty and sliding genioplasty. Fixing the crooked or deviated nose is very challenging for all rhinoplasty surgeons and the goal is to achieve a straighter nose because a perfectly straight nose does not exist. On the frontal view, you can see a nose that is midline and with beautiful dorsal aesthetic lines. On the profile view, you can visual a nice nasal profile with a slight break at the tip. The sliding genioplasty complements the nose and improves the overall proportions and balance of the face. A chin implant would not be able to achieve this amount of chin augmentation or chin length. Posted with permission.

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It’s never too early to starting thinking about that summer body. This patient underwent a mommy makeover or a breast reduction/lift and tummy tuck. Pay close attention to the belly button, this patient had an umbilical hernia, which made the reconstruction of her belly button even harder. Most plastic surgeons take their time trying to make the belly button look as natural as possible since the appearance of the belly button can be an obvious sign that the patient had a tummy tuck. Posted with permission.

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A facial feminization case that highlights how subtle changes can have a major impact on the balance and proportions of the face. Do the post-operative images appear softer, less angular, more refined, and more heart-shaped rather than square-shaped? Can you tell what surgeries were performed? Hint: look closely at the forehead/orbital rims, nose, chin, jawline, and neck. Posted with permission.

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