To evaluate long-term results of otoplasty using standardized measurements.
We performed a retrospective study of patients who underwent otoplasty using a modified anterior scoring technique combined with postauricular fixation sutures. Two hundred twenty-two consecutive patients (421 primary otoplasties) were included. Each auricle was examined before surgery, after surgery, and at a long-term follow-up visit, and the distance between the lateral helical rim and the mastoid surface was measured at 3 points. In addition, patient satisfaction was evaluated using a questionnaire.
Seventy-two percent of 222 patients were examined at a long-term follow-up visit. Follow-up of 301 auricles was on average 6.25 years (range, 44-106 months). The mean preoperative measurements among all auricles were 23.3 mm at the uppermost point of the helix, 28.6 mm at the middle, and 25.9 mm at the lobule; these values were 14.2, 14.0, and 16.1 mm, respectively, at the end of the operation and 16.0, 17.5, and 17.4 mm, respectively, 6 years later. Long-term data revealed a median 2-mm lateralization of the auricle. The aesthetic result of otoplasty was rated as “very good” by 71.8% of patients and as “good” by 19.4% of patients; 6.9% of patients thought the result was “satisfactory” and 1.9% “unsatisfactory.” Complete recurrence of the protrusion was seen in 7 ears (2.3%) and partial recurrence within the upper third of the pinna in 26 ears (8.6%).
Otoplasty using a modified anterior scoring technique combined with postauricular fixation sutures provides long-term improved results in 91.2% of cases. Complications and sequelae are few, and rates are comparable to those of other long-term studies. A 2-mm lateralization of the auricle may be expected. Standardized measurements of the auricle are important because they supplement the overall aesthetic evaluation of the corrected ear and provide an objective baseline for long-term follow-up.