Cartilage Reshaping With Laser Safe for Protruding Ears

Technique offers reasonable patient satisfaction; all patients would undergo procedure again

FRIDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Non-invasive laser-assisted cartilage reshaping (LACR) is a safe and satisfactory alternative to invasive surgical otoplasty for treatment of protruding ears, according to a study published in the November issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Franck Marie P. Leclère, M.D., from Lille University Hospital in France, and colleagues investigated the outcomes of 32 LACR procedures performed on 17 patients since 2006. The procedure was bilateral for 15 patients and unilateral for two patients. Seven stacked pulses (3 ms, 2 Hz, 84 J/cm² cumulative fluence) were applied using a 4 mm spot hand piece with integrated cooling. Prospective long-term follow-up included evaluation of early and late complications. Patient satisfaction was assessed using a visual analogue score from zero (unsatisfied) to 10 (highly satisfied). The superior and middle cephalo-auricular distances were measured and compared to the preoperative values.

The investigators found that, with the exception of two cases of dermatitis, there were no other early or late complications during the follow-up. The mean superior cephaloauricular distances decreased significantly from 17.8 ± 3.1 mm preoperatively to 12.3 ± 1.9 mm at follow-up. The mean middle cephaloauricular distances also decreased significantly from 23.9 ± 1.9 mm preoperatively to 13.7 ± 1.6 mm at follow-up. All patients reported that they would be prepared to undergo the procedure again, with the mean patient satisfaction 8.6/10.

"LACR appears to be a safe and reproducible method for the treatment of protruding ears," the authors write.

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