Otoplasty (ear surgery)
Otoplasty, or ear surgery, is an aesthetic low-risk procedure that adjusts the size, position, or proportion of the ears to better align with the head.
This surgery is mostly performed on children and young teens, but anyone with large or disproportionate ears can utilize this cosmetic surgery to help correct the overall appearance of the ears and head. Depending on your desired results, otoplasty can restructure your ears and significantly improve your self-confidence.
As you age, your ears usually reach their full size around the age of six. Oversized or uneven ears are more noticeable on children and can often lead to self-confidence issues. This is why young teens or children over the age of five are most likely to undergo this procedure for any of the following reasons:
- Being born with overly large or small ears
- Ears are disproportionate to the head or oddly placed
- One ear is positioned slightly higher than the other
- Ears stick out prominently
- Having suffered an injury that negatively impacted the shape or positioning of the ears
Incisions will be made behind the ear to cut off extra skin and fat, while cartilage is recontoured and positioned according to your desired result. Reshaping the cartilage will help restore a natural shape to your ears and allow them to lie more discreetly against the head. The incision will then be stitched.
Children will be given general anesthesia, while adults can be provided with a sedative and local anesthesia.
Normal folds missing from the ear can be recreated by fashioning the cartilage with permanent sutures. If your ears are protruding perpendicularly to your head, ear pinning can be performed to flatten them.
The duration time for otoplasty is about two hours, depending on the anatomy of one’s ears and the desired changes. Otoplasty is typically done on an outpatient basis, but you may request to make accommodations to spend the night at our Comfort Cottage with a nurse available to help you.
Recovery and Results
Once the procedure is finished, a dressing will be placed around your ears and must be kept in place unless instructed otherwise. If pain medication is prescribed, make sure you are taking the appropriate amount of dosage at the right times to minimize discomfort. It is important to keep your head elevated when recovering and avoid putting any pressure on your ears.
You should be able to return to a normal routine within a week after surgery. Sports and other strenuous activity should be avoided for up to six weeks. Otoplasty will result in permanent and long-lasting results with minimal fluctuations.
Side Effects and Risks
You may experience some temporary side effects consisting of throbbing, aching, swelling, redness, or numbness after your procedure. As with most surgical procedures, otoplasty can involve a few minor risks, which can include:
- Blood clots
- Mismatched ears
- Recurrence of the protrusion
To achieve the best results, we tailor each procedure to your needs. You will receive specific information regarding your case during your consultation, which you can set up by calling us at 336-886-1667.