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Otoplasty is a safe and effective method for addressing large or protruding ears. However, like all surgical procedures, there are complications which can occur, such as hematoma, infection, abnormal contours, over-correction, under-correction and exposed sutures. Dr. Charles Thorne takes great care to reduce otoplasty risks and meet your aesthetic expectations. At his New York, NY, practice, Dr. Thorne uses advanced techniques to minimize the chance of serious complications.

Dr. Thorne otoplasty surgeon

Dr. Thorne has been performing otoplasty since 1989.

Potential Complications

Since Dr. Thorne has been performing, teaching, and writing about otoplasty for 30 years, he has developed procedures that almost completely eliminate the risk of severe complications. Dr. Thorne has chosen his procedure to eliminate the complications that are difficult or impossible to treat, such as over-correction or unnatural contours. The complications that Dr. Thorne’s technique has not totally eliminated are under-correction and protruding sutures.

Infection

Dr. Thorne has never seen an infection occur with a patient after an otoplasty. This does not mean it is impossible but it must be extremely rare.

Hematoma

On very rare occasions, a patient may develop a collection of blood in one ear known as a hematoma. This requires drainage but amounts to nothing more than an inconvenience.

Over-correction

One of the most difficult complications to treat is over-correction, when the ear has been pulled too close to the head. This frequently requires using cartilage grafts to help unbend the cartilage and return the ear toward a more natural position. Dr. Thorne has treated many cases of over-correction but has not created one himself in his entire career.

Under-correction

Approximately a half dozen times in Dr. Thorne’s career he has had patients who felt the ears were under-corrected and who desired slightly more setback. While rare, this complication is much easier to treat than over-correction and can be performed in the office under local anesthesia.

Protruding sutures

Dr. Thorne uses permanent sutures behind the ear. Occasionally over the life of the patient these sutures can poke out and become visible. If this occurs, the sutures are easily removed.

Gradual Reversal of Treatment

Ears consist mainly of cartilage, a tissue which has a large amount of natural elasticity. Over the years, the ears could begin to return to their original position. In most cases, Dr. Thorne takes this into consideration during planning and surgery, allowing ears to shift slightly over time, while maintaining your results. However, he also offers otoplasty revision for patients who want to address issues of reversal.

Modern Techniques for Reduced Risk

In the past, otoplasty techniques involved removing cartilage and making full-thickness incisions in the cartilage. These older techniques resulted in sharp edges and had a higher risk for permanent deformities. Dr. Thorne has been performing otoplasty since 1989. Over the years, he has cultivated his skills and chosen the techniques which carry the lowest risks for severe complications. The only complications associated with his chosen methods are under-correction and suture exposure, both of which are highly treatable.

Learn More about Otoplasty

Choosing an experienced surgeon is crucial to ensuring you achieve the results you desire. If you are interested in addressing large or protruding ears, Dr. Thorne can provide a low-risk, highly effective otoplasty procedure. For more information, send our office a message or call (212) 794-0044 today.

In The Media


Dr. Thorne is consistently highlighted in every publication profiling the Best Doctors in Manhattan or the Best Doctors in the entire United States. He has been featured in the New York Times multiple years running, as well as America's Top Doctors, and has hosted a radio show on plastic surgery alongside dermatologist Dr. Linda Franks.


  • New York Best Doctors 2019
  • New York Best Doctors 2017
  • New York Best Doctors 2014
  • New York Best Doctors 2008


  • New York Best Doctors 2005
  • Americas Top Doctors 2002
  • Castle Connolly 10th
  • Castle Connolly 6th

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