Besides the risks that can occur with any surgery, if bleeding occurs with the otoplasty (procedure that sets back protruding ears) it can result in a "cauliflower ear." This deformity forms for fascinating biological reasons. The connective tissue next to cartilage can create new cartilage if it is lifted away from its neighboring cartilage. Whacking the ear of a boxer creates bleeding between the cartilage and the connective tissue. The body's response is to make more cartilage. And so it thickens. Artistry is paramount in this operation. If the cuts in the cartilage are too deep, they may be visible through the skin. If not deep enough, the cartilage may not bend appropriately.
Infection is a dreaded complication of otoplasty and can result in a horrible but uncommon deformity. Sometimes the stitches become visible behind the ear and even poke through the skin. If this occurs, after about six months they can be safely removed.
Find out more about this book:Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)