Over the past several years Dr. Hilinski has been performing what he terms is preservation otoplasty on a more consistent basis. For many years now, the classical method of performing ear pinning, or otoplasty surgery, has included some degree of cartilage removal or resection as part of the operation. This means that in areas where the ear is considered too big or too large, such as the conchal bowl, cartilage is taken away in an attempt to make it smaller.
As Dr. Hilinski’s cosmetic ear surgery practice has evolved, he started to do less and less removal of cartilage from the ear during his otoplasty surgeries. Instead, he began preserving the ear cartilage during otoplasty while reshaping the ear using various suture modifications. This doesn’t mean that Dr. Hilinski is using an ‘incision-less’ otoplasty technique. This variation of otoplasty surgery has been touted online and on YouTube as the next generation otoplasty technique. However, in Dr. Hilinski’s professional opinion, the incision-less technique is just not suitable for most patients seeking ear pinning surgery.
The fact is that Dr. Hilinski does make incisions in and around the ear as part of preservation otoplasty surgery. An incision is simply a cut that is made with a surgical blade. Although he may be cutting the ear cartilage to release it in strategic locations, Dr. Hilinski is not removing, or excising, the cartilage from the body. He is using a variety of sutures, or stitches, to reshape the ear cartilage – essentially bending it and moving it so that the ear looks more pinned to the side of the head and, thus, looks less prominent. The reason he has termed this surgery ‘preservation otoplasty’ is because he is preserving or saving all of the ear cartilage. In doing so, he is maintaining much need structural stability for the ear so that as patients age their ears will remain strong enough to last the rest of their lives.
Conchal Bowl Reshaping
One area that cartilage is traditionally removed during otoplasty is the conchal bowl. The conchal bowl is the cup-shaped portion of the ear that often times plays a significant role in making the ear look too prominent. In an attempt to make the ear look smaller and bring it closer to the surface of the head, the conchal bowl cartilage is frequently cut our, or resected. The remaining framework of the ear is then sutured down on the backside of the ear – allowing it to be ‘pinned’ back.
Preservation otoplasty still involves making an incision in the conchal bowl. However, unlike traditional otoplasty surgery, this technique involves preserving the cut cartilage. Instead of removing the cartilage entirely, this segment is just sutured down into a different position and location – resulting in the ear being pinned back very effectively.
One of the reasons that preservation otoplasty can be performed so effectively is because Dr. Hilinski has discovered several key areas where relaxing incisions can be made in the cartilage framework of the ear. By cutting the cartilage in very specific, strategic locations, the ‘memory’ of the ear cartilage can be overcome – allowing the ear to ‘settle’ more naturally closer to the side of the head. Because these relaxing incisions are so effective in moving the ear cartilage in a predictable manner, one doesn’t need to cut out cartilage elsewhere to reshape the ear in the desired manner. One area, in particular, where Dr. Hilinski makes a relaxing incision is in the upper half of the ear close to where it junctions with the face. By making this incision, the upper half of the ear can be bent and reshaped much more effectively with less chance of warping back as the healing process unfolds.
Otoplasty Expert Consult
If you have overly prominent ears and desire to have them pinned back to look smaller, why not consult with a regional expert in otoplasty surgery? Dr. Hilinski literally has patients flying in to San Diego from all over the world to have cosmetic ear surgery performed by him. In addition, he has otoplasty patients spread all around the greater San Diego area, including La Jolla, Carlsbad, Escondido, Scripps Ranch, Point Loma and Coronado. That is because he has extensive experience way beyond most board certified plastic surgeons when it comes to performing cosmetic ear reshaping. We look forward to helping you achieve the designer ears you desire.
Dr. John Hilinski has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.