I have seen this issue arise in a number of online forums regarding otoplasty, or ear reshaping. My personal opinion as a facial plastic surgery expert is that permanent sutures are a better choice when it comes to a majority of the ear reshaping process. Cartilage has what we call ‘memory’ in that if you reshape the cartilage with a temporary measure (or absorbable suture) it is likely to go back to its original shape or at least try to during the healing process. That is largely why some ears will tend to return back to their original size, shape and position following otoplasty done with absorbable sutures. Even when using a permanent suture in otoplasty, the ears have to be shaped such that your surgeon overcorrects to a certain degree since this memory issue will arise despite having the permanent sutures in place. Don’t get me wrong. There are times when I will place an absorbable suture in the process of reshaping the ear. However, I only use these in areas where I am less concerned about cartilage memory and I use PDS suture, which lasts 6 months or so under the skin before dissolving away. In the meantime, there is plenty of scar tissue formation to allow for long-lasting stability in terms of the changes made to the ear. To learn more about San Diego otoplasty, ear reshaping and ear pinning use this link here for our online otoplasty tutorial page.
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