Despite advances in corrective ear surgery, many plastic surgeons prefer to use a patient’s own tissues for the procedure, according to a recent survey by the ASPS.
The survey, which asked a range of questions about corrective ear surgery, aimed to determine if new and emerging tissue products might win over plastic surgeons. A large majority of plastic surgeons (88%), however, prefer to use a patient’s own tissues over alternatives. Just 8% of plastic surgeons said they prefer alloplastic products exclusively.
Despite this fact, more than half of the plastic surgeons surveyed about corrective ear surgery said they do not doubt that new products will become available that can be used for the procedure. They struggle with the idea, though, that alloplastic, non-native tissues will become the everyday, “gold standard” for corrective ear surgery. This could be due to the fact that many of these alternatives are relatively new, and that a “lack of evolution” in the options has occurred.
The survey also asked plastic surgeons at what age they feel patients should undergo corrective ear surgery. More than half of the plastic surgeons said they prefer to wait until a patient is at least seven years old before completing the procedure. A majority said waiting until the patient has matured can provide better surgical results.
Some plastic surgeons differed, however, saying the possibility for psychosocial issues can be increased if the patient waits until age seven for corrective ear surgery. About 1/3 prefer to complete the procedure when the patient is between four and six years old.
Ultimately, though, the plastic surgeon needs to weigh the psychological benefits of corrective ear surgery against the medical and cosmetic benefits. Surgeons understand that all patients are unique cases and must be treated on an individual basis.