Ears normally have a delicate and refined appearance with standard folds and creases. Sometimes, people are born with no ears, malformed ears, or ears that are too prominent, too large, or stick out. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can create a normal appearing ear with less prominence through incisions hidden behind the ear. This procedure, known as ear setback or ear pinning, can often be performed under local anesthetic for adults or a short outpatient operation for children. Ears can also be rebuilt or created using rib cartilage. Other common causes for ear surgery are traumatic injuries or skin cancer. Traumatic injuries can range from cuts or split ear lobes from earrings to ear amputations. Skin cancer can also invade the skin and cartilage and requires removal and delicate reconstruction for cure. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan have extensive experience in the complete range of ear surgery and have published some of their experiences with the most complicated ear problems.
Ear Reshaping (Otoplasty)
Torn Earlobe Repair
Ear Reconstruction with postauricular flap
This patient has squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer on the ear. The cancer was resected and the ear reconstructed with a postauricular flap. On the right, the ear is seen several weeks later with a normal appearance and cancer cured.
One of the most technically difficult and demanding operations is this example of ear replant, published by Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Taylor in the New England Journal of Medicine. Fewer than fifty successful operations such as this have been reported around the world. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan successfully restored this patient's ear after a dog bit injury. The ear and the blood vessels were reattached using super microsurgery and a high powered microscope. The leech, seen in the middle image, was necessary to reduce venous congestion while the body restored blood flow. On the far right, the ear is seen several months later with a normal appearance.