Preauricular Sinuses or Tags


Preauricular sinuses or tags are common, especially amongst Asians and Africans. They may be unilateral (on one side) or bilateral (both sides) and are congenital (present at birth). Sinuses can generally be managed conservatively until they continue to get infected. Tags can be excised at any time for cosmetic reasons.

Preoperative Instructions

It is important that preauricular sinuses are not infected at the time of surgery. If you notice any pain, swelling or redness at the site of the sinus you should contact your ENT Surgeon.


The procedure involves removing the sinus or tag in its entirety. For sinuses, evidence shows that dissection should be right down to fascia (muscle lining) and a small piece of cartilage should be removed. Failure to do so results in a higher rate of recurrence.

Postoperative Instructions

You will be advised to take oral antibiotics for 1 week postoperatively and keep the wound dry. Dr Levin usually uses dissolvable stiches under the wound that do not require removal. Steri-strips, which help hold the wound together, will be removed after about 1 week.