Also known as otoplasty, ear surgery procedure helps reduce protrusion of the ear away from the head. Most often, ear surgery is performed on school-age children. Ears that “stick out” are often the source of teasing and ridicule in young children. This teasing can have a devastating effect on the child’s psyche. Otoplasty is not limited to children though, and may also be performed on older patients. Cosmetic procedures are available for those individuals with large ears and for those with congenital (birth) irregularities that detract from their appearance.
Additionally, an individual’s ears may exhibit abnormal traits due to their genetic make-up or an accidental injury, such as losing an ear or part of an ear. Otoplasty is used successfully for each of these situations. Regardless of the procedure, patients have been pleased with the long-lasting improvements to their appearance offered by ear surgery.
Why Should I Consider Otoplasty?
- Bring proportion to the face if the ears “stick out” too much
- Correct folded ear tips (lop ear).
- Reshape long or offset earlobes.
- Enhance very small ears or other congenital defects.
- Remedy an accidental injury, including the loss of an ear.
How Is Ear Surgery Performed?
Ear surgery is commonly performed under general anesthesia for children and adults in our Birmingham, Alabama surgery center. The standard otoplasty procedure brings the ears closer to the head. Otoplasty begins with an incision hidden in the crease behind the ear. This incision allows the cartilage located behind the ears to be reshaped in order to position them closer to the head. The procedure takes approximately one to two hours, depending upon the extent of surgery.
There are various surgical techniques involved in correcting irregularities other than protruding ears. These techniques can be discussed with your physician during the initial consultation.
What Is My Recovery Like After Ear Surgery?
After the surgery is completed, bandages will be wrapped over the ears. This method secures the ear in place and assists with the healing process. The bandages are usually removed within a week and replaced with smaller dressings. Generally, post-operative instructions call for no strenuous activities or heavy lifting for a short period of time. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery. Any pain can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Otoplasty?
How old does my child need to be for otoplasty?
Otoplasty is one of the few plastic surgery procedures that can be performed on children. While your child can be relatively young, they must have fully developed ears. This typically occurs between the ages of four and six. If you are considering ear pinning surgery for your child, your child must have the emotional maturity to understand what this procedure means.
Can I still get otoplasty as an adult, and what are the requirements?
There is no age cap when it comes to otoplasty. Many men and women struggle with large or protruding ears throughout their childhood and adolescence and decide they want surgery upon entering adulthood.
If you are an adult wanting otoplasty, be sure that you are in good health and do not smoke.
Is ear surgery permanent?
Ear pinning surgery is considered permanent because the results are not expected to fade or adjust on their own.
What other procedures can be combined with otoplasty?
Children are only candidates for otoplasty and cannot combine their surgery with any other procedure. Adult otoplasty patients can choose to combine their ear surgery with other facial enhancements, including facelift surgery, rhinoplasty (nose surgery), or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty).
What are the risks associated with otoplasty?
Otoplasty, or ear pinning, is a simple and straightforward procedure, and complications are rare. The most common physical risks associated with otoplasty are infection and bleeding. The most common aesthetic concerns following ear surgery are poor scarring (which will be hidden behind the ear in the crease) and asymmetry between the ears (which is rare).