Corrective otoplasty is a commonly performed procedure to change the shape of the auricular cartilage. Many techniques use permanent sutures to maintain the cartilage folding, whereas other techniques rely on cartilage incisions (partial thickness or full thickness). At this institution, a cartilage cutting and anterior scoring technique has been used for more than 30 years with pleasing results. The surgical techniques published in the past have been reviewed and compared with the procedure used at this institution to point out the advantages, disadvantages, and differences of these various techniques. Also reviewed were 500 consecutive cases operated on under local or general anesthesia between January of 1993 and December of 1995 to determine the incidence of early and late complications. The patients were contacted by mail to return for a follow-up examination or answer a questionnaire, at least 2 years after the procedure. Early complications were bleeding in 13 cases (2.6 percent) and hematoma in 2 cases (0.4 percent). There were no infections or ear necrosis. A small cutaneous wound was present on the anterior skin in three patients (0.6 percent), and there was one wound dehiscence (0.2 percent). Late complications were keloids in two cases and inclusion cysts in three cases. Residual deformity was noted in 22 cases and asymmetry in 28 cases. Secondary surgery was performed in six cases. The questionnaire was answered by 387 patients (77.4 percent response rate): pain when the ear is touched was present in 22 cases (5.7 percent), hypesthesia in 15 cases (3.9 percent), occasional cutaneous irritation in 38 cases (9.8 percent), asymmetry in 71 cases (18.4 percent), and abnormal ear shape in 17 cases (4.4 percent). Twenty-nine patients (7.5 percent) also noted that the ear was more sensitive to cold or touch. The satisfaction rate was 94.8 percent: very satisfied, 74 percent; satisfied, 20.8 percent; dissatisfied, 4.2 percent; and very dissatisfied, 1 percent. These results were compared with other published series of complications and late results after otoplasty; the complication rates are similar or lower in this study. Therefore, it can be concluded that the cartilage cutting and anterior scoring technique otoplasty is a safe procedure with a high patient-parent-surgeon satisfaction rate. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 105: 504, 2000.)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Hôpital Sainte-Justine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Received for publication January 12, 1999;
revised June 30, 1999.
Louise Caouette-Laberge, M.D. Hôpital Sainte-Justine 3175 Côte Sainte-Catherine Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1C5 Louise_Laberge@SSSS.gouv.qc.ca