How is cauliflower ear diagnosed?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
The patient's clinical history and physical should yield the diagnosis of a cauliflower ear. Clinically, the ear appears lumpy and bumpy. A history of direct blow(s) to the external ear such as with boxing or wrestling will cause hematoma induced cartilage necrosis and a cauliflower deformity.

To diagnose cauliflower ear, your doctor will examine your ear to see if it has the characteristic thick or lumpy shape. Your doctor will also ask about the ear injury that led to the cauliflower ear. Your doctor will probably feel the ear to determine if it is tender.

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