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Ear Surgery

In order to understand the deformities of the ear, one must first have basic knowledge of the relevant terms and anatomical landmarks used when discussing plastic surgery of the ear.
 
The helical rim, or helix, corresponds to the outer border of the ear and should ideally be a smooth, continuous curvature that goes nearly 270 degrees around the auricle. The helix is composed of a thin rim of cartilage with tightly wrapped skin overlying the cartilage. The helix serves a critical role in providing skeletal scaffolding for the auricle.

The antihelix refers to a natural ridge that is situated inside of the helix. As the antihelix goes upward, it divides into a Y-shaped structure as seen in the photo. The antihelix exists because the underlying cartilage folds upon itself during normal development. In doing so, the antihelix naturally pulls the upper portion of the ear close to the head. It is the norm to see this ridging of the cartilage as it courses through this segment of the ear.


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The antihelix forms the back border of what is called the conchal bowl, or concha. This is the portion of the auricle that resembles an actual bowl. In many otoplasty patients, the conchal bowl is overly developed and excessively large for the ear.

The lobule is the fleshy portion of the auricle where most females get their ears pierced. What is unique about this structure is that, unlike other areas of the ear, there is no cartilage underlying the skin of the lobule. 
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