What is an Otoplasty?
Otoplasty, also known as ear surgery, is used to correct or enhance the shape, position, or proportion of the ear. The procedure can be used to correct defects such as prominent helix (ears that stick out to far from the head), prominent bowl (the cup of the ear being out of proportion), stretched or aged earlobes, or cauliflower ear (also known as wrestler’s ear).
If you ears are protruding or disfigured, an otoplasty may be right for you.
What to Expect
During the initial consultation, you and the physician will discuss all the details of the otoplasty and what you will need to know for post-operative care. We have compiled a list of some things you may want to know prior to your visit:
During the procedure
Depending on the age and the exact otoplasty being performed, it will take place either under sedation and local anesthesia or under general anesthesia. After the anesthesia has taken effect, incisions may be made along the back of your ears and/or within the inner creases of your ears. The plastic surgeon will then remove excess skin and/or cartilage. Stitching is then used to maintain the correct position and to close any incisions.
After surgery, your ears will be wrapped in bandages to provide support to the now correct shape of your ears. Itching and mild pain are common and pain medication will be recommended to reduce the annoyance.
A few days after your surgery, you will return to have the bandages removed. At this point your ears will still be red and swollen. Swelling and redness will continue to go down for weeks after the procedure, but most patients can return to work in about one week and return to vigorous activity after three weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
An otoplasty is performed on the outside portion of the ear, and as such, will typically not affect hearing. Hearing is mostly controlled by the middle and inner ear.
Children as young as 5 or 6 can be candidates for an otoplasty. The average person’s ears stop growing around this age and any defect can be detected. It is fairly common to fix ear defects around this age, because kids start school and may keep them from being a subject of bullying.
The procedure itself typically lasts around one hour.
Most patients experience only mild discomfort in the first few days of the recovery process. Pain medication will usually ease this discomfort. If pain increases or is severe, please contact us immediately.