Surgical Correction of the Lying Ear Deformities

  • Tae Kwang Jeong
  • Young Min Kim
  • Kyung Hee MinEmail author
Original Article Facial Surgery



In contrast to prominent ear, lying ear can be defined when the antihelix of the ear is excessively folded, i.e., the conchoscaphal angle is much less than 90°. In such case, ears may look smaller than the face. These patients want their ears to be exposed more. In Asia, there is also a tendency to prefer large and long ears. The objective of this study was to present a surgical method for correcting lying ear deformities.


From August 2017 to June 2018, 37 patients (72 ears) underwent surgery using our surgical method for lying ear deformities. After the cartilage was exposed on the posterior auricular surface, the fibrous band present at the conchoscaphal angle was released. Two longitudinal cartilage incisions were performed along the border of the antihelix. Horizontal mattress sutures were performed on the cartilage until the conchoscaphal angle was close to 90°. Onlay cartilage grafting was performed for the most severe portion of the deformity.


We performed reoperation for four patients due to recurrence (n = 2), under-correction (n = 1), and cartilage exposure (n = 1). Most patients obtained satisfactory aesthetic results.


There have been few reports of the surgical method for lying ear deformities. Our surgical method can provide satisfactory clinical outcomes for correcting lying ear deformities.

Level of Evidence IV

This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors


Ear Cartilage Otoplasty 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and publication of this article to declare.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

All patients provided written informed consent for the publication and the use of their images.

Supplementary material

Video 1. This video demonstrates the surgical method of using horizontal mattress suture to correct the lying ear deformity


  1. 1.
    Janis JE, Rohrich RJ, Gutowski KA (2005) Otoplasty (review). Plast Reconstr Surg 115:60e–72eCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sinno S, Chang JB, Thorne CH (2015) Precision in otoplasty: combining reduction otoplasty with traditional otoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg 135:1342–1348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kim SE, Yeo CH, Kim T, Kim YH, Lee JH, Chung KJ (2017) Correction of lying ears by augmentation of the conchoscaphal angle. J Craniofac Surg 28:254–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Woo PN, Lip PL (1996) Why do old men have big ears? The Chinese believe that thick ears signify greater wealth. BMJ 312:582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hoehn JG, Ashruf S (2005) Otoplasty: sequencing the operation for improved results. Plast Reconstr Surg 115:5e–16eGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Foda HM (1999) Otoplasty: A graduated approach. Aesthet Plast Surg 23:407–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Liaw J, Patel VA, Carr MM (2017) Congenital anomalies of the external ear. Oper Tech Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 28:72–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Janz BA, Cole P, Hollier LH Jr, Stal S (2009) Treatment of prominent and constricted ear anomalies. Plast Reconstr Surg 124:27e–37eCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Choe KS, Sclafani AP, Litner JA, Yu GP, Romo T 3rd (2004) The Korean American woman’s face: anthropometric measurements and quantitative analysis of facial aesthetics. Arch Facial Plast Surg 6:244–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ely ET (1881) An operation for prominence of the auricles. Arch Otolaryngol 10:97Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Luckett WH (1910) A new operation for prominent ears based on the anatomy of the deformity. Surg Gynaecol Obstet 10:635–637Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mustardé JC (1963) The correction of prominent ears by using simple mattress sutures. Br J Plast Surg 16:170–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kaye BL (1967) A simplified method for correcting the prominent ear. Plast Reconstr Surg 40:44–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Furnas DW (1968) Correction of prominent ears by conchomastoid sutures. Plast Reconstr Surg 42:189–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Elliott RA (1990) Otoplasty: a combined approach. Clin Plast Surg 17:373–381Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Szychta P, Orfaniotis G, Stewart KJ (2012) Revision otoplasty: an algorithm. Plast Reconstr Surg 130:907–916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lentz AK, Plikaitis CM, Bauer BS (2011) Understanding the unfavorable result after otoplasty: an integrated approach to correction. Plast Reconstr Surg 128:536–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tae Kwang Jeong
    • 1
  • Young Min Kim
    • 2
  • Kyung Hee Min
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.HB Plastic Surgery ClinicSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Eulji University School of MedicineEulji General HospitalSeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations