The alternative to splintage is surgery, which is best undertaken from the age of six years, when the cartilage is hard enough to prevent the stitches from "cheese-wiring" through it, and before the child is teased. Whilst prominent ears are relatively easy to fix for an experienced surgeon, the other conditions described here are considerably more difficult to correct. Surgery is not always successful, however, and complications can arise. Bleeding and infection are the most common, but post-operative deformity can ensue. Complication rates vary between surgeons and according to the technique used, but figures of up to 5% are by no means unusual. Complete loss of the ear and, very rarely, death are also documented.
post-op 'm' deformity
loss of tissue
Images supplied with kind permission of David Gault FRCS. If you would like information on Ear Reconstruction following failed surgery, please follow this link.