Branchial cleft remnant and accessory tragus are terms that refer to extra skin and cartilage that sit in front of an ear. Branchial remnants are present at birth. This tissue is essentially extra, normal tissue. The skin and cartilage grows with the child. The size of accessory tragus can vary from small bumps of skin only to very large pieces of extra skin and cartilage that can deform normal parts of the ear, especially the tragus. It is important to note that most branchial remnants occur on or around the ear, but they can also occur on the cheek and neck also.
If removed the tissue does not grow back. We remove this tissue when present because it draws unwanted attention. This is typically done in a short outpatient surgery.