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Constricted Ear (Lop Ear) Correction

Lop ear is a condition that affects the appearance of the upper helix of the ear and can range from mild to severe. Plastic surgeons often tout expertise in managing and treating lop ear deformities. But when you look at their websites, you realize they are simply performing otoplasty, also referred to as ear pinning surgery, and not true correction of a lop ear. The reality is that there are very few plastic surgeons who specialize in this type of reconstructive surgery. 

Dr. Hilinski has extensive experience treating patients in the San Diego area who have congenital anomalies of the ear. He used advanced techniques to correct lop ear deformity and constricted ears, and can show you before and after photos of satisfied patients. 

What Is Lop Ear? 

Lop ear deformity is a condition that results from abnormal development of the helical rim, or top portion of the ear. It is also commonly referred to as a constricted ear or cup ear deformity. 

The hallmark of a lop ear deformity is a malformation of the helical rim, or when the top rim of the ear is folded over. This can be mild in some cases or rather severe in others. When the segment of the ear just inside of the helical rim, called the scapha, is involved, the top one-third of the upper ear can appear even more abnormal. In this instance, the ear can appear to be more compressed from the top, leading to the term constricted ear deformity. In short, any of these lop ear deformities make the ear look too short in a vertical direction. Ear reconstruction with lop ear correction can improve the appearance of the external ear.

Lop Ear Correction

Lop ear correction refers to a plastic surgery procedure intended to make a folded ear helix stand up straight so that it’s more vertical in height or taller. If lop ear is addressed during the first few weeks of life, this surgical correction can frequently be done successfully with nonsurgical ear molding options. Once the ear has grown, though, it requires true surgical reconstruction. Severe cases often need a rib cartilage graft as part of surgical treatment to make it look like a normal ear.  

Lop Ear Surgery Procedure

Surgical repair of lop ear varies depending on the underlying deformity, and Dr. Hilinski can use any one of a variety of techniques including ear cartilage grafts and tissue rearrangement to improve the contour, size, and projection of the ears. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision on the back of the ear. Frequently a bolster dressing is left in place initially to support the new cartilage shape and prevent fluid from collecting between the skin and cartilage. 

In nearly all cases, the top portion of the ear has to be completely reshaped by strategic reorientation of the abnormal cartilage framework of the ear. In some cases, additional cartilage has to be taken from somewhere else in order to have sufficient ‘building material’ to properly reconstruct the ear. 

Lop Ear Correction Photos

Here are some select examples of how Dr. Hilinski was able to correct the lop ear deformity.

Constricted Ear (Lop Ear) Correction Before and After
Constricted Ear (Lop Ear) Correction Before and After

FAQs About Lop Ear Surgery

What are the risks of ear surgery?

When performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, lop ear surgery is considered safe. However, any surgical procedure involving the ears has inherent risks which include anesthesia risks, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, and changes in sensation.1

How much does lop ear correction surgery cost?

Each patient has a unique surgical plan, so the cost of lop ear correction surgery varies from patient to patient. We understand that cosmetic surgery can be a considerable expense for most, which is why we’re proud to offer convenient and affordable financing options for qualified patients.  

Schedule A Consultation For Lop Ear Correction

If you are interested in learning more about reconstructive surgery to correct lop ear deformity, please contact us today to schedule your personal consultation.

ASPS. Ear Surgery. Available: Accessed June 10, 2022.

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