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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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A 1 year follow-up on a patient who wanted a rhinoplasty to remove the dorsal hump and improve the aesthetics of her tip. In this case the dorsal hump was removed, the nose made straighter, the tip refined, and the tip rotated and projected more. Her new nose fits her face without overtly changing the ethnic features of her face. Posted with permission.



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Proud of our research team for getting this important manuscript published in the #1 plastic surgery journal in the world. In this study, we looked at the published literature to develop guidelines on how to treat visual impairments related to droopy eyelids and excess skin of the eyelids.

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Happy for this patient who underwent full facial rejuvenation surgery, which included a brow lift, upper/lower blepharoplasty, facelift, neck lift, and facial fat transfer. How much younger does he look now? Posted with permission.

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Amazing transformation for this lovely patient who wanted to have fuller, more symmetric, youthful, and natural breasts. The patient underwent a #breastaugmentation with gel implants. Posted with permission.

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One year follow-up on a #BBL or Brazilian butt lift. As you can see from the post-operative photos, the fat that is transferred stays and is permanent. Posted with permission.

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Male patient in his late 60’s who was able to turn back the clock after undergoing a #facelift, #neck lift, #blepharoplasty, and #fattransfer. Pay close attention to the “bags” underneath the eyes, the jawline, and neck. The scars have healed nicely and are inconspicuous even with short hair. In the post-operative photos, the patient has maintained his natural facial features and anatomy, but just looks like a more youthful version of himself. Posted with permission.

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#Primaryrhinoplasty to fix the dorsal hump, droopy tip, and crooked nose. In the post-operative photos, the patient has a nice dorsal profile on side view, the tip has been lifted, and the nose is straight. To evaluate how straight the nose is, look at the dorsal aesthetic lines on bird’s eye view and follow the two light reflexes along the dorsum. Posted with permission.

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Challenging #tertiaryrhinoplasty on this patient who had nasal deviation, a dorsal hump, and an under-rotated/under-projected tip. In the post-operative photos, you can see a straighter nose with more symmetric dorsal aesthetic lines and tip defining points. Posted with permission.

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Honored to be inducted into the Rhinoplasty Society. The Rhinoplasty Society was founded in 1996 by plastic surgeons who have pioneered modern rhinoplasty. The society is dedicated to the education and advancement of nasal surgery.

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Relatively small surgeries can yield big changes. This patient wanted to improve the contour of her chin and the overall profile of her face. The patient’s lower 1/3 of the face and chin were short and set back. Additionally, the patient had asymmetries of the chin and jawline that she wanted improved. The patient underwent a #slidinggenioplasty to achieve these goals where the chin was cut and mobilized forward and downward. In the post-operative photos, you can see a more aesthetic and balanced facial profile. The advantages of a #genioplasty over a #chinimplant are that the chin can be moved in numerous planes, the advancement can be more significant, and asymmetries can be addressed. Posted with permission.

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This patient had a bilateral constricted ear deformity where the top portion of the ear folds over the rest of the ear. In this deformity, the ear appears shorter in height and there are abnormalities of the outer and inner folds of the ear. In the postoperative photos you can visualize the ear is longer in height, the helical rim or outer portion of the ear is lifted up and the antihelical fold or inner portion of the ear is more defined. Posted with permission.


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Challenging #breastaugmentation case where the patient had asymmetries of the breasts in terms of size, shape, and position on the chest. The patient underwent a breast augmentation with #gelimplants with a larger size in the left breast to balance the size difference. The left breast fold was also lowered to match the fold level of the right. Posted with permission.

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Plastic surgery can sometimes be subtle or dramatic. In this case, this patient’s outcome was life altering after a lipoabdominoplasty or tummy tuck. The patient can now do all of the things in life that she was limited in doing due to her body habitus. Posted with permission.


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