Otoplasty or ear surgery, is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears.
For the most part, this surgery is performed on children between the ages of 4 and 14. Ears are almost fully grown by age 4, and the earlier the surgery, the less teasing and ridicule the child will have to endure. Otoplasty or ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery in older patients.
Otoplasty can be either a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure. Pinning back prominent ears is an example of cosmetic otoplasty, while surgery to build up the outer ear after injury is an example of reconstructive otoplasty.
Most surgeons recommend that parents stay alert to their child’s feelings about protruding ears; don’t insist on the surgery until your child wants the change. Children who feel uncomfortable about their ears and want the change are happier with the outcome.
Anesthesia could be general or local depending on specific cases. In the initial meeting, we will evaluate the patient’s condition and recommend the most effective technique. We will also give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery.
Otoplasty or ear surgery usually takes about two hours, although complicated procedures may take longer. The technique will depend on the problem to be solved.
A small incision is made in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage, then the surgeon will sculpt the cartilage and bend it back toward the head, this is one of the most common procedures. Non-removable stitches may be used to help maintain the new shape. Occasionally, a larger piece of cartilage will be removed to provide a more natural-looking fold when the surgery is complete.
In most cases, otoplasty or ear surgery will leave a faint scar in the back of the ear that will fade with time. Even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually performed on both ears for a better balance.
The patient can go home on the same day of the otoplasty surgery and go back to work or school the next day.
Don’t be shy ask any questions you need to know. It’s important you know all about your otoplasty before you make your decision.