Accumulation of blood under the perichondrium of the pinna, usually as a result of blunt trauma
e.g. blow to ear while playing rugby.
Symptoms / Clinical Findings
Painful swelling of the pinna
Swelling, this is often tense but fluctuant
The image to the right shows a large, swollen pinna post trauma
If relatively small, attempt aspiration with a large bore needle
If large collection of blood, the incision & drainage (under a local anaesthetic) with a pressure dressing to the pinna is required to reduce risk of recollection
Pressure dressing is usually applied via a Silastic sheet cut to shape and sutured to pinna
Antibiotics are usually prescribed prophylactically for 7 days
The patient is usually reviewed in 5 - 7 days
If recollection occurs a formal incision and drainage and washout under a general anaesthetic may be required
The patient should be warned of the high risk of cauliflower ear, despite treatment!