Hybrid Cartilage-Modifying Otoplasty Technique and Outcomes

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Otoplasty is performed to correct prominauris, one of the most common head and neck congenital deformities. Advances in combination hybrid approaches enable surgeons to achieve greater precision and accuracy.


To describe a hybrid cartilage-modifying approach and evaluate the procedure’s effectiveness and safety.

Design, Setting, and Participants

Medical record review including patients undergoing otoplasty by the present technique from January 2006 to December 2016 as performed by the senior author at a tertiary academic referral center. Twenty-three patients underwent 24 total procedures including both bilateral (n = 17) and unilateral (n = 7) procedures. Two procedures were revisions.


Hybrid cartilage-modifying otoplasty procedure.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Preoperative and postoperative measurements were recorded. Paired sample t testing was performed to assess changes between preoperative superior, middle, and inferior helical measurements and corresponding postoperative measurements for all operated ears. Two-tailed, independent sample t testing was performed to compare postoperative differences between right and left ears within separate superior, middle, and inferior measurements in patients undergoing bilateral otoplasty.


Twenty-four surgeries were performed on 23 patients. The mean (SD) age at surgery was 16.3 (13.6) years with 13 patients (58%) between the ages of 4 and 10 years. Preoperatively, the mean (SD) superior, middle, and inferior helical rim-to-mastoid distance of the 41 discrete ears measured 16.5 (3.1) mm, 24.1 (3.8) mm, and 19.3 (4.4) mm, respectively. Mean (SD) postoperative measurements were 12.1 (2.4) mm, 14.7 (2.5) mm, and 14.0 (2.8) mm, respectively, for mean (SD) decreases of 4.4 (2.7) mm, 9.4 (3.4) mm, and 5.3 (3.6) mm. For the 17 bilateral procedures, the mean (standard error) postoperative scores between ears measured 0.7 (0.9) mm for the superior, 0.5 (0.9) mm for the middle, and 0.2 (1.0) mm for the inferior. The unaffected ear was measured in 4 of 7 (57%) of patients undergoing unilateral otoplasty, and the mean (SD) postoperative differences between left and right ears were 1.3 (0.8) mm, 3.0 (1.2) mm, and 1.0 (0.7) mm for the superior, middle, and inferior, respectively. Preoperative-to-postoperative differences for all ears (n = 41) were significant (P < .001 for all) for superior, middle, and inferior measurements. There were no significant absolute differences identified for superior (P = .41), middle (P = .58), and inferior (P = .88) measurements regarding left vs right postoperative comparisons for bilateral otoplasties. One patient undergoing bilateral repair required subsequent revision surgery of 1 ear. Two patients developed chronic suture site irritation, and 1 patient developed a hematoma.

Conclusions and Relevance

The present technique allows multiple opportunities to adjust the auricular parameters. The results indicate a low revision rate and high degree of symmetry.

Level of Evidence


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