What is otoplasty?
If you do not like the look or prominence of your ears, that can all be easily changed at almost any age. Cosmetic ear surgery to reduce how far the ears protrude is called otoplasty. Otoplasty can change both the shape and position of the ears. Some people have one ear that is drastically different from the other and the procedure is performed to make the ears more symmetric. Some individuals simply do not like the look or prominence of their ears, but luckily that can all be easily changed.
Am I too young or too old for otoplasty?
Otoplasty can be performed beginning at age 7 after the auricle of the ear reaches full size and all throughout your life. We’ve had patients in their 60s that have always disliked their ears finally get around to having the surgery to improve their self-confidence. It is fun to see our otoplasty patients return wearing their short hair or hair pulled back with confidence.
What are the risks of otoplasty?
Otoplasty, as with any other type of major surgery, has risks, including the risk of bleeding, infection or rarely an adverse reaction to sutures, bandages or anesthesia.
The changes to the ear are permanent. Perfect symmetry cannot be guaranteed. Numbness after surgery is common, but usually resolves within weeks to months.
How is otoplasty performed?
Otoplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure which can be done with general anesthesia or sedation and local anesthesia.
Otoplasty techniques vary based on what kind of correction is needed. The specific technique your plastic surgeon chooses will determine the location of the incisions and the resulting scars. Incisions are typically on the back of the ears inside the natural crease. Incisions in the inner creases are also possible if additional correction is necessary.
After making incisions, your surgeon might remove excess cartilage and skin. Dr. Beaty or Dr. Nagy will then fold the cartilage into the proper position and secure it with dissolvable stitches. Additional stitches will be used to close the incisions.
What is the recovery time?
After otoplasty, your ears will be covered in bandages for protection and support. Your ears will likely be swollen and red. You’ll need to wear a headband bandage for one week and then at night only for an additional week. You’ll likely feel some minor discomfort and itching during the healing process.
To keep pressure off your ears, avoid sleeping on your side. Also try not to rub or place excessive force on the incisions. Wear button down or V neck collars during the recovery process.
Then, it is time to pull your hair back and enjoy your new look!