Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. Otoplasty can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth that becomes apparent with development or it can treat misshapen ears caused by injury. Ear surgery creates a natural shape, while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have profound bene?ts to appearance and self-esteem. If protruding or dis?gured ears bother you or your child, you may consider plastic surgery.
Specifically ear surgery can treat:Overly large ears — a rare condition called macrotia Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees — not associated with hearing loss Adult dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery
Children who are good candidates for ear surgery are:Healthy, without a life-threatening illness or untreated chronic ear infections Generally 5 years old, or when a child’s ear cartilage is stable enough for correction Cooperative and follow instructions well Able to communicate their feelings and do not voice objections when surgery is discussed
Teenagers and adults who are good candidates for ear surgery are:Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing Non-smokers Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for ear surgery Ear surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to full someone else’s desires or to try to any sort of ideal image.
Large protruding ears can have a devastating effect on self-esteem especially for children and young adults. An otoplasty is done on prominent ears in order to set them back closer to the head or to decrease the size of large ears. Surgery can be done on adults as well as children, although children should typically wait until age 5 or 6 so that the ears have stopped growing
Candidates for Otoplasty
While teasing that targets those with large ears or ears that protrude noticeably from the head usually stops after childhood, the embarrassment suffered can last a lifetime, otoplasty is usually performed between the age of 5 or 6, but it can be performed on adults as well.
Surgery & Recovering
Otoplasty usually performed under a local anesthetic, during the procedure, an incision is made behind the ear and excess cartilage is removed. The remaining cartilage is pinned into place with sutures and left to heal. In some cases, some cartilage may need to be reshaped before the ear is repositioned. The incision is inconspicuous once healed. Following the surgery, a head wrap is placed to protect the ears. Once the wrap is removed in the office, patients are often asked to wear a headband for several weeks. To maintain the new ear position and prevent injury particularly when sleeping.
Side effects of otoplasty include swelling and brushing, but they usually fade away within a week. Discomfort is mild and most normal activities can be resumed within a few weeks.
Otoplasty can improve both appearance and self-confidence.