With years of experience performing otoplasty, Dr. Charles Thorne is an expert in safe, effective ear surgery. His commitment to continuing education allows him to stay at the forefront of surgical techniques. At his plastic surgery practice in New York, NY, Dr. Thorne utilizes advanced otoplasty techniques in which the only side effects are minor and treatable. His choice in technique is determined by the areas of the ear you wish to treat and the type of issue that needs correction.
In most cases, the techniques Dr. Thorne uses are divided into how they affect the appearance of the different areas of the ear. The ear is divided into three parts: the upper third, middle third, and earlobe region. Some patients require work only on one section, while others must address issues with all three areas.
The issues you need to address with otoplasty will determine which surgical technique Dr. Thorne will employ.
The most common concern affecting the upper third is prominent ears. This is a condition in which the helix, or top of the ear, protrudes dramatically from the side of the head, making the ears stand out more than desired. In most cases, Dr. Thorne can treat this concern using sutures placed behind the ear. Essentially, he can fold the ear back to create an anti-helix for a more desirable position.
In some cases, there is a natural modification at the very top of the ear. The angle formed by the side of the head and the ear is abnormally large, meaning folding the ear back will not correct the problem. When this is the case, Dr. Thorne can place additional sutures to adjust the angle for a more natural-looking result.
When the middle third of the ear requires a correction, Dr. Thorne typically needs to remove a crescent of cartilage from the concha in the inner part of the ear. The cartilage is removed from an incision in the posterior of the ear. Then Dr. Thorne can place sutures to bring the middle section of the ear closer to the head. If performed correctly, this change is undetectable.
Recent advancements in otoplasty techniques have removed many of the concerns of the past.
Alterations to this section of the ear may include earlobe shortening or correcting distortion due to a facelift. When performing otoplasty on the lower third of the ear, Dr. Thorne takes special care. This area is difficult to correct because there is no cartilage. If all the skin is removed during the surgery, the earlobe looks abnormal and there is no way to wear an earring.
To preserve the natural appearance of the earlobe, Dr. Thorne uses dissolvable sutures to pull the lobe back while still maintaining the depth of the sulcus, the natural indentation behind the ear. In so doing, he can preserve the function and natural appearance of the earlobe.
Recent advancements in otoplasty techniques have removed many of the concerns of the past. Older techniques involved removing substantial amounts of cartilage and making full incisions around the ear. Often, these methods would result in permanent deformities. Dr. Thorne chooses otoplasty techniques where the only complications are undercorrection or protrusion of the sutures through the skin behind the ear. In this way, he protects the health of his patients and prevents serious complications from affecting the appearance of your ears.
When considering a otoplasty, it is important to find a surgeon with the experience and advanced training to perform your surgery properly. For more information about otoplasty, call our office at (212) 794-0044 or contact us online today. You can also consult our otoplasty FAQs to learn more.