If you were born with or have developed uneven, large or protruding ears, then otoplasty may be your solution. Also known as ear pinning, otoplasty is a type of ear surgery that can be performed on both children and adults. Some of the more common reasons for considering otoplasty include:
- Earlobes that are misshapen or offset;
- Ear tips that are folded, also known as lop ear;
- Ears that noticeable stick out from the head.
The otoplasty procedure is a way to deal with ear deformities or irregularities without the need for traditional methods such as growing the hair to cover the ears, or wearing hats or headbands. Having surgery also eliminates the stress associated with the insecurity of having large or protruding ears.
What Is Otoplasty?
Individual results may vary.
Otoplasty is a procedure which results in the ears being closer to the head. There are different applications for the otoplasty procedure. For example, this surgery can be applied to those who have some sort of congenital irregularity involving the appearance of the ears. It can also be used for those with ears that are large in size, as well as when an individual loses all or part of their ear.
The Ear Pinning Procedure
Otoplasty involves the patient being under anesthesia. Children receive general anesthesia, and adults receive local anesthesia. A small incision is made in the crease located behind the ear. It is through this incision that the surgeon can then reshape the flexible cartilage of the ears and reposition the ear closer to the head. Cartilage may also need to be removed during this procedure. When the cartilage removal and repositioning is complete, sutures are used to close the incision. The procedure can last from one to two hours.
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Individual results may vary.
Following the completion of the procedure, the patient’s ears will be secured in place with the wrapping of large bandages around the head for up to one week. Following this initial period, smaller dressings will replace the large bandages. Most post-operative instructions for otoplasty suggest limited movement and lots of rest. This will accelerate the healing process, thereby reducing the time needed for otoplasty recovery.
Risks of Otoplasty
Most of the risks associated with the otoplasty procedure are the same as any other surgery that is performed using anesthesia. The incision can bleed, become infected, or become numb. Also, patients can react to anesthesia.
There are some specific risks associated with this procedure. Abnormal scar tissue can form, but can be corrected at a later time. Hematoma, or the collection of blood within tissue can also occur, but can be drained. The shape of the ear can be distorted due to overcorrection, and setbacks can occur where the deformity or irregularity reappears following correction.
Contact our office today to schedule your otoplasty consultation!
Who is a candidate for otoplasty?
- Adults and children at least five years old with mismatched, protruding or large ears may be good candidates for ear surgery.
Where are incisions made for ear surgery?
- The incisions will be very small and may be located in the back of the ear, or sometimes the front crease of the ear.
What is the recovery like after otoplasty?
- Recovery takes between one and two weeks.
When can I return to work or school after ear surgery?
- Patients may return to work or school within a few days of otoplasty surgery.