The basic principle of Rib Cartilage Ear Surgery is to reconstruct the contours of a normal ear. As the ear is complex in shape, a firm supporting framework has to be used in order for these contours to be properly reproduced.
The procedure involves harvesting the rib cartilage from the patient. This leaves a scar of some 6-8 cms in length but it does not deform the patient’s chest, nor does it hamper the playing of sports.
The new ear is sculpted from the patient’s own cartilage and skin and therefore is alive, grows with a child, and heals without problems. This allows a person to resume normal sports, swimming, and PE activities 4-6 weeks after surgery with no particular concerns.
During the first operation, the rib cartilage is harvested and a framework is prepared that is then implanted beneath the skin. In this stage of the surgery, all the contours of the ear will be reproduced, but there will be no space behind the ear. The ear appears normal from the side profile but will not stand out like the other one.
To make the ear look symmetrical to the other ear, second operation is done to create post-auricular sulcus (space behind the ear) that makes sure that both ears matches when they are viewed face-on.
The interval to be observed between these two operations ranges from three to six months, depending on the particular patient’s situation.