Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery - Ear Reconstruction, for Microtia and Trauma in Australia
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Minor Ear Deformities

Not all congenital ear deformities require rib grafting. In some cases where there is a minor deformity some cartilage may be taken from the other ear to replace what is abnormal or missing. This does not cause any deformity of the good ear. Often these minor procedures can be performed as one operation and as a day stay procedure.  Some of these minor ear deformities are explained below.


Cryptotia literally means “hidden ear”. In this condition the upper part of the ear is buried beneath the skin of the scalp. Usually the cartilage is normal. Reconstruction involves lifting the ear out from under the skin, creating a groove behind the upper ear and using flaps of the surround­ing skin to cover the ear cartilage. This is usually done as a day procedure in a single stage.

‘Lop ear’

A lop ear is one in which the upper part of the ear is bent over. There is often a relative shortage of skin and the cartilage framework may also be smaller than the other side. Surgery involves correction of the cartilage using either the cartilage already in the ear, or sometimes a cartilage graft from the other ear. Skin cover involves using local skin flaps. When severe, this condition occasionally requires correction with the use of a rib graft, similar to the procedure for microtia .

Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 August 2007 )
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Dr Nicholas Lotz, MBBS BSc(Med) FRACS