Cryptotia: “Buried Ear”

Patients with cryptotia appear to have the upper portion of their ear buried underneath the skin of the side of the head.   In addition to this malformation, the scapha and antihelical crura are often underdeveloped. Surgery for cryptotia can create a more normal appearance of the ear

Commonly known as:

  • Buried ear
  • ear “stuck to head”

Diagnosis

Dr. Bray, Jr. will perform a thorough history to determine if the patient has any other associated ear or hearing problems.  The exam will involve a complete exam of the external ear as well as the ear canal and ear drum.  The ear must be compared to normal ear anatomy to establish the malformations which should be corrected.  Patient’s with cryptotia will have a buried appearing upper portion of the ear.

Cryptotia Surgery

The surgery for cryptotia involves releasing the ear from the buried position.  The ear is elevated and a flap of local tissue is used to resurface the posterior ear cartilage.  There will be a remaining defect over the mastoid which may be closed primarily or in some cases requires a split thickness skin graft.  If other deformities exist, such as underdevelopment of the antihelix, then that may be addressed to further improve the shape of the ear.

Cryptotia surgery is one of several otoplasty (ear shaping) procedures performed by Dr. Bray, Jr.