Correction of Failed Surgery

After set-back (pinnaplasty or otoplasty) surgery to the ear

About one third of the procedures undertaken by Mr Gault is to correct deformities due to previous surgery undertaken elsewhere. Good results can nevertheless be achieved even in severe cases. Any operation around the ear can lead to a destructive infective episode. The ear canal is sometimes colonised by potential pathogens, particularly a bacterium called pseudomonas, and great care should be taken to clean the recesses of the ear before surgery. The ear can be lost after a procedure as simple as eardrum reconstruction. Eczema behind the ear should be treated before surgery as organisms within the rash can lead to significant destruction.  Surgery should NEVER be undertaken around the ear area in the presence of a rash.

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The most common post-surgery problem, however, is related to bleeding which develops after bat ear correction (surgery for prominent ears), after the use of cartilage scoring techniques.  Although scoring surgery can be successful in most cases, haematoma formation is unpredictable, and in a small but significant number of cases, the ear becomes severely deformed.

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Total ear reconstruction is sometimes necessary

Bleeding and tight bandages alone can cause tissue loss because of the effects of increased pressure on the tissues.  If infection develops in the small pool of blood which collects, then this can worsen matters.  The suture technique for correction of prominent ears is the safest, and when combined with a fascial flap (Gault technique), the most reliable.  In the United Kingdom, compensation for ear loss after failed pinnaplasty surgery is in the region of £20- 40,000.

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Complications of cartilage scoring surgery

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Secretaries: 0203 393 1103 - 0203 327 0059 - 01628 891 333

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