The term “cauliflower ear” refers to a deformity that is directly caused by trauma to the ear. Blunt force trauma is the most common type of trauma to cause this deformity, which is why athletes who are involved in physical contact sports are typically the most commonly affected by cauliflower ear. Cauliflower ear is best described as the bumpy, thick appearance of the ear. Blunt trauma to the ear can lead to a blockage that prevents blood flow to the entire ear and damages the tissue causing cauliflower ear. While repeated hits to the ear (think boxing matches) is the most common cause of cauliflower ear, any type of trauma or infection to the ear can be a cause: a car accident where the side of the head or ear was hit, a fall, or an infection to the ear lobe that caused a growth that blocked the blood flow.
While prevention is possible for those participating in contact sports by wearing the correct protective headgear, unforeseen accidents and repeated injuries can result in cauliflower ear. The initial symptoms of this ear condition are similar to the symptoms that would be common with blunt trauma elsewhere on the body. Swelling, bruising, discoloration, and a shriveled up appearance are common and should not be ignored. It is important that people who wish to have treatment for cauliflower ear turn to an expert surgeon. Dr. Maurice Khosh is an experienced facial plastic surgeon with distinguished expertise in ear procedures. Dr. Khosh can repair cauliflower ear by grafting or shaving cartilage and restoring the ear to its natural shape and form.
While cauliflower ear can be quite unsightly, it can also be a very painful condition. Blood flow that is cut off from the ear or that forms into a hematoma needs to be drained in order to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. Cauliflower ear can also lead to hearing loss if it goes untreated, making this condition serious enough that it warrants specific treatment. If you or someone you know suffers from cauliflower ear, please contact Dr. Maurice Khosh in New York for advanced otoplasty techniques to restore the beauty and function of your ear.