Ear surgery or otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that can alter, contour or reposition the ear to achieve a desirable aesthetic result. Often, it can address problems like prominent ears, where the ears stick out. Surgery for this is sometimes called ear pinning. Otoplasty can also change the size of the ears or create better symmetry. Ears that are disproportional to the head can be more noticeable in children and lead to issues with confidence and self-esteem.
Who is a candidate for ear surgery?
If you are healthy and unhappy about the appearance of your ears, you may be a good candidate for ear surgery. Before proceeding with surgery, your ears would need to reach full size, which usually occurs around age 6. Ear pinning otoplasty that corrects prominent ears that stick out can be performed in children above 5 years of age and adults.
How is ear surgery performed?
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and typically lasts 1-2 hours. There are several different techniques used to reshape the ears. Commonly, an incision is made at the back of the ear and the cartilage is manipulated with sutures to cause the ear to bend towards the head. Several other methods may be used depending on the anatomy. The incision is then closed meticulously.
What to expect after surgery?
Dr. Farris and his staff will provide specific instructions regarding your surgery.
You will be able to go home on the same day of surgery. Keep the dressing around your ears and head in place until it is removed in the office 5-7 days after surgery. Keep your head elevated while you sleep for the first week. Do not lie on your ear. After the dressing is removed, you should wear a comfortable sweatband for 2-3 weeks. Avoid any strenuous activity or exercise for 3 weeks.
- What is otoplasty?
Otoplasty is ear re-shaping surgery and is commonly performed to bring ears that stick out closer to the head (ear pinning).
- When is the best time for my child to have otoplasty?
It is best to have the surgery performed as soon as most of the ear has matured and before the onset of peer pressure. This would be around 5-6 years of age.
- After otoplasty, will the ears be symmetrical?
Careful caliper measurements of the upper, middle and lower ear are made in order to achieve the best symmetry possible when adjusting the degree of “pinning” the ears back.
- What is the recovery like after otoplasty?
There is minimal pain after surgery. The compression bandage around your ears and head is removed after 5-7 days. A sweatband is then worn for about 3 weeks. Avoid any strenuous activity or exercise for 3 weeks after surgery.
- When can I wear my glasses after otoplasty?
You may begin wearing your glasses about 3 weeks after otoplasty.
- Does otoplasty affect my hearing?
Otoplasty will not affect your hearing. The inner and middle parts of the ear are responsible for hearing.
- Can my earlobes be reduced?
Yes, this procedure can be easily performed in the office under local anesthesia.
- I have a split earlobe from a pulled earring. How can this be fixed?
The torn or split earlobe can easily be fixed as a 15-minute procedure under local anesthesia in the office. We can even re-pierce your earlobe after you’re fully healed.