Although the physiologic effects of ear deformity are negligible, the aesthetic and psychological impact on the patient can be profound. Significant ear malformations are prevalent in today's society and affect more than 5 percent of the population. Although the prominent ear results from either underdevelopment of the antihelix or an enlarged conchal bowl, the constricted ear is a product of helical down-folding and height deficiency. After a thorough evaluation, surgical management of the prominent ear must be approached in a careful, rational fashion. Although the surgeon may enjoy the wide latitude that hundreds of corrective techniques offer, he or she must always proceed with an algorithmic application of technique best suited to the specific auricular deformity. By using this approach, correction of the prominent ear can go beyond patient satisfaction to predictably maximize outcome in both form and symmetry. From the clinical evaluation and anatomical basis to surgical management of the deformed ear, the true art of otoplasty is in the surgeon's ability to thoroughly understand auricular structure and appropriately apply technique for maximal aesthetic outcome.
From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine.
Received for publication October 3, 2006; accepted October 25, 2007.
Disclosure:The authors have no commercial or proprietary interest in any of the materials mentioned in this article.
Brian A. Janz, M.D., Division of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, 1709 Dryden, Suite 1600, BCM Mail Stop 630, Houston, Texas 77030, firstname.lastname@example.org