Also known as cosmetic ear surgery, back-pinning of the ears and/or ear reduction surgery.
Otoplasty is an in-office surgical procedure aimed at the correction of abnormal external ear deformity. The most common is protruded ears usually both or asymmetry of size or position of the ears. The problem is usually present at birth and becomes more visible as the child ages. Unfortunately, young children and adolescents with ear deformities may fall victim to excessive teasing and/or bullying by their classmates. This can lead to anger, frustration and eventually psychological or self-esteem problems.
Who can benefit from Otoplasty?
Anyone who is unhappy with the protrusion of their ears. Otoplasty is not a procedure exclusively for children, adolescents and teenagers. Many adults who have lived with protruding ears decide to address the issue all the way into adulthood.
What is the goal of Otoplasty?
The otoplasty procedure is aimed at addressing congenital, excessive protrusion of the external ears giving the appearance of large abnormally protruded “elephant ears.” To be put simply, the goal of otoplasty is to reduce an ear protrusion and prevent its recurrence.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW IS OTOPLASTY DONE?
Under local anesthesia or sedation, the excess ear cartilage is reduced by removing a narrow strip from the back of the ears. Thus, the remaining scars are hidden in the back of the ears in an inconspicuous place.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES AN OTOPLASTY TAKE?
Usually about one to two hours since this is an intricate procedure that requires a steady, surgical hand.
HOW MANY PROCEDURES ARE REQUIRED FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS?
Usually surgical procedures are done only once, but occasionally the healing of the ears may be asymmetric, hence a revision surgery may be necessary. This is rare, however.
WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS USED FOR AN OTOPLASTY?
Sedation with local lidocaine is normal, but if desired, general anesthesia can also be administered.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH OTOPLASTY?
Temporary bruising, swelling and mild discomfort are the most common risks.
WHEN CAN I RESUME NORMAL ACTIVITIES?
Usually after one to two days, but excessive physical activity, especially anything that may involve touching the ears, must be avoided for a few weeks.
WHERE ARE THERE INCISIONS PLACED? ARE THERE DRAINS?
The incisions are inconspicuously hidden in the backside of the ear There are no drains required post procedure.
WHAT IS THE DOWNTIME AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Normally about one to three days.
HOW LONG WILL THE RESULTS OF AN OTOPLASTY LAST?
Results are long lasting, usually for a lifetime.
DO I HAVE TO WEAR A BANDAGE OR A HEAD STRAP?
Yes, usually a comfortable head bandage is worn after the procedure. This bandage and any other dressings are typically removed two days after the procedure. A soft headband is worn for a few weeks, mostly at night to support the ear cartilage sutures and incision to promote proper healing.