Why does a preauricular sinus or pit occur?
A preauricular sinus or preauricular pit occurs as a result of faulty fusion in the development of the ear while the child is in the womb so it is a congenital condition present from birth.
What does a preauricular sinus signify?
The presence of a preauricular sinus may be associated with
- Other abnormalities of the Outer ear: Helix abnormalities, Asymmetry, Posterior Angulation, Small size, Absent Tragus, and Narrow external auditory meatus.
- Syndromes-Branchiootorenal syndrome, Mandibulofacial dysostosis, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome [Pediatricians and ENT Surgeons should always rule out syndromes in a child with preauricular pits]
No a preauricular sinus or pit does not close by itself.
What complications can happen in a child or adult with a preauricular sinus?
A preauricular sinus is lined by epithelium and can get blocked and infected at any time.Many persons may not have infection.But if infected it can lead to abscess formation and cellulitis.A pit can also accumulate material and become a cyst which is a swelling with a propensity to get infected.Hence Doctors advise to remove a preauricular sinus.
What are the signs of an infected Preauricular sinus or pit?
Parents of a child with a preauricular sinus need to look out for infection of the sinus tract
- The preauricular pit can discharge yellowish pus
- The area around the preauricular pit can become red
- The preauricular pit and surroundings can become swollen
- The area in front of the ear can become tender to touch
- Reddish or Brownish tissue growth[granulation tissue] at the mouth of the preauricular sinus
- Fever can occur
- Pus Discharge
- Rule out other Congenital abnormalities [syndromes] in children
- Surgical Excision is the management of Choice
- Infected Preauricular Sinuses are treated with antibiotics before surgical removal
|Preauricular Sinus Excision Under Local Anesthesia|
In adults the surgical excision of a preauricular sinus can be performed under local anesthesia.The pictures shown below is that of a preauricular sinus surgical excision performed under local anesthesia [ by numbing the area].The duration of the procedure varies from 15 mins to 1 hour depending on the tract length and complexity.On an average it will take about 30 minutes.In young children it is done under general anesthesia.
Will rest be required after the procedure to remove the preauricular sinus?
No Generally ,no hospital stay is required and the person can resume normal activities.Care of the operated area involves keeping it dry and Dr Sonia or Dr Prateek Nayak will give you detailed instruction on the care of the area.
|Preauricular Sinus Removal|
|Excised Preauricular Sinus Tract|
Dr Prateek Nayak
MBBS MS ENT[AIIMS]
Consultant ENT Surgeon Head & Neck Specialist,Bangalore
Dr Sonia & Dr Prateek's ENT Head Neck Center,Sahakaranagar, Bangalore