An external stretching device was devised for the correction of cryptotia. A total of 27 cases of cryptotia received correction with this device. Patient age ranged from 10 to 40 years. During an earlier trial, patients were corrected with the external stretching device only. To make a definite and permanent projection of the upper ear, the external device had to be applied and maintained for more than 5 months. In some patients pin site infection developed during the treatment, which resulted in cessation of treatment. Recently, for cryptotia with marked cartilage adhesion, surgical release of the adhesion with a skin graft was supplemented with the application of the external stretching device. The device was maintained for 2 months and the long-term follow-up showed excellent outcome with well-maintained projection and a satisfactory auricular shape. The author suggests that the external stretching device is a useful alternative in the correction of cryptotia with severe cartilage adhesion in older children or adults.
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