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Ear magnetic discs to prevent cauliflower ear: a case gone wrong
  1. Wan Wei Ang,
  2. Gary Foley,
  3. Juliet Laycock and
  4. Iain McKay-Davies
  1. ENT, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Maidstone, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Wan Wei Ang; angwanwei{at}


We present a case of pinna pressure necrosis secondary to the use of ear magnetic discs, used in the management of auricular haematoma. A man in his 20s sustained a left auricular haematoma while wrestling. His coach aspirated the haematoma and advised the use of commercially available compression magnets on either side of the pinna to prevent haematoma reaccumulation. 5 days later, he presented to accident and emergency with left ear pain and swelling. Perichondritis was evident on examination and the compression magnets were removed to reveal significant pressure necrosis of the pinna. The skin underlying the placement of magnets (both anteriorly and posteriorly) was black and necrosed, with erosion of the underlying cartilage. In addition to this, the haematoma had reaccumulated in the surrounding pinna. The haematoma was drained via an incision, and pressure dressing applied with dental rolls. The patient was given a course of oral antibiotics to manage the perichondritis. He was reviewed regularly in the ear, nose and throat emergency clinic to monitor wound healing. 3 months later, he was reviewed in the otology clinic; there was persistent helical rim deformity, and delayed cartilage augmentation was advised.

This case highlights the importance of prompt and effective management of auricular haematoma, to prevent long-term deformity. Commercially available pinna magnets for auricular haematoma should be used with caution, and patients should be counselled as such.

  • Ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • Wound care
  • Accidents, injuries

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  • Contributors WWA—contributed to writing of manuscript, collection of photos and obtaining consent of patient. GF—contributed to writing of manuscript and collection of photos. JL—contributed to editing of manuscript. IMD—contributed to final editing of manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.