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This article reports the development of low-set ear following tympanomastoidectomy via endaural and/or postaural approaches. Description of 10 cases who had developed low-set ear following mastoid surgery undertaken to clear chronic suppurative otitis media. The surgical approach was via endaural or postaural incisions. Tertiary care referral hospital. The operative history and development of low-set ear complication are described. Potential factors responsible for the development of postoperative low-set ear and a possible way to avoid such a complication are discussed. The development of postoperative low-set ear following endaural or postaural incisions. The described 10 cases had tympanomastoidectomy. A postaural approach was employed in six cases and an endaural approach in four. Canal wall down mastoidectomy was done in seven cases, whereas canal wall up mastoidectomy was done in three. Seven patients were aware of postoperative auricular changes, and two of them were unhappy with this. Potential predisposing factors include dissection of the auricle and ear canal and lowering of the posterior bony canal wall. This could result in weakening of the supportive elements that keep the auricle in the normal position. Low-set ear should be recognized as a potential complication following mastoid surgery. It can have cosmetic and functional implications for the patient. Possible ways to avoid its development are suggested. This is the first report of such a postmastoidectomy complication in the English literature.


Mahmoud S Ali. Unilateral secondary (acquired) postmastoidectomy low-set ear: postoperative complication with potential functional and cosmetic implications. Journal of otolaryngology - head & neck surgery = Le Journal d'oto-rhino-laryngologie et de chirurgie cervico-faciale. 2009 Apr;38(2):240-5

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PMID: 19442375

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