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Otoplasty is one of the procedures where you can instantly see the changes in the appearance of the ear. However, you might see ears that are pinned too far back to the head. This can ultimately lead to unwanted results and disappointment. If this happens, though, several otoplasty techniques that can be taken to correct it. One of these is Reverse Otoplasty.

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One would usually choose to undergo otoplasty to correct their ear deformities. But what causes these malformations in the first place? One thing that could cause it is the abnormal development of a person’s ear from birth. It is called a congenital ear deformity. Another reason could be due to a disease or a genetic disorder. 

Did you know that it is also possible for the ear to develop deformities because of an injury? It is called post-traumatic ear deformity.

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Do you or someone you know have an ear shaped like a question mark? Ears come in every conceivable shape and size but one rare ear malformation is call the Question Mark Ear.

It looks like a question mark because there is an indentation between the upper two thirds of the ear and the earlobe, causing the outline of the ear to appear like a question mark. In some cases the upper portion of the ear is larger than normal which makes the question mark similarity even more striking. Don’t count on seeing too many of these; they are quite rare.

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Have you ever seen an extra growth of flesh on, or just in front of, your ear or someone else’s? Those bumps are more than just skin tags; they usually contain skin and cartilage (and the cartilage component can go quite deep into the cheek). In some cases there is an associated tiny opening the leads to a cavity under the skin. These bumps are called pre-auricular skin tags

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Have you ever seen a person with pointed or elf-like ears? That person may have Stahl’s ear, a congenital imperfection of the ear. These ears are also sometimes called Spock’s ears, after the character in Star Trek. Many types of congenital ear deformities can be corrected through ear surgery (otoplasty). 

One of these conditions is known as Stahl’s Ear. It is a malformation of the cartilage in the upper external ear that is recognizable by the elf shape with flat and pointed upper helix.

What are the causes of Stahl’s Ear?

The upper third of the ear normally has two folds that create the triangular depression known as the triangular fossa.  In Stahl’s ear, there is frequently a third fold that terminates in a pointed area at the junction of the upper and middle thirds of the external ear.

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In The Media


Dr. Thorne is consistently highlighted in every publication profiling the Best Doctors in Manhattan or the Best Doctors in the entire United States. He has been featured in the New York Times multiple years running, as well as America's Top Doctors, and has hosted a radio show on plastic surgery alongside dermatologist Dr. Linda Franks.


  • New York Best Doctors 2019
  • New York Best Doctors 2017
  • New York Best Doctors 2014
  • New York Best Doctors 2008


  • New York Best Doctors 2005
  • Americas Top Doctors 2002
  • Castle Connolly 10th
  • Castle Connolly 6th

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