What is ear surgery?
Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty or ear pinning surgery, is a surgical procedure designed to correct protruding ears by setting them back closer to the head, and to reduce the size of overly large ears. Ear surgery may also be helpful for cupped ears, lop ears, as well as large, irregular, or stretched earlobes. Our doctors are also able to construct new ears for patients who are missing their ears due to birth defect, or injury. Ear surgery may be performed on both adults and children aged six and older. In fact, this is often a good surgery to perform at younger ages because the cartilage of the ears is more pliable and because correction can help to spare children teasing that they might experience due to their large or protruding ears. Using the latest techniques in ear surgery, your doctor can reshape and resize your ears to result in shapely and well-proportioned ears.
Who is a candidate for ear surgery?
Although ear surgery is performed on adults and teenagers, the operation is most often performed on children, generally 5-6 years old, or when a child’s ear cartilage is fully developed. The best candidates for ear surgery young healthy individuals who are looking to correct protruding ears. At younger ages the cartilage of the ear is more pliable and thus easier to mold and shape. Furthermore, correcting protruding ears early, before or during school age, can spare children the teasing that undoubtedly ensues as they get older. During your consultation with your doctor, he will evaluate your child’s ears to determine the best approach for correction.
The Ear Surgery Procedure
Initial Consultation Prior to Ear Surgery
At your initial consultation, your doctor and you will carefully discuss your aesthetic concerns, and define a tailored plan to improve the appearance of your or child’s ears. Your goals and expectations will be carefully considered and clarified. The medical and surgical history will be reviewed in detail, and a physical examination will be conducted. Your doctor will then advise you on which otoplasty technique is best for you or your child.
Preparation for Ear Surgery
Your doctor may request that you visit your private medical doctor (or your child’s pediatrician) for a check-up and for any necessary lab work and x-rays. Precise preoperative instructions will be reviewed, and all necessary prescriptions will be given to you in advance of your otoplasty surgery. You will be instructed to avoid smoking, blood thinning medications, and all aspirin, aspirin-containing products, and anti-inflammatory products (Advil® or ibuprofen, and Aleve®) at least ten days before surgery. In order to promote optimal healing, a complete and comprehensive preoperative instructions will be provided for you, detailing which medications to avoid, and which vitamins , minerals, and homeopathic preparations are ok to take prior to and after cosmetic ear surgery.
What type of anesthesia is needed for cosmetic ear surgery?
There is plenty of choice in administration of anesthesia for ear surgery. Most ear surgery procedures are performed under general anesthesia, although sedation and local anesthesia are also feasible. Your doctor and our Board-certified anesthesiologists will discuss all the relevant topics when deciding on the optimal anesthesia plan for you or your child.
How do our doctors do cosmetic ear surgery?
There are several different techniques for performing cosmetic ear surgery. Essentially, there are 2 major techniques: correction or ear protrusion by setting or pinning them back closer to the head, and reducing the size of excessively large ears. Sometimes, a combination of both is needed. During ear surgery, a small incision is made in the natural crease behind the ear revealing the cartilage. This cartilage can be resected if oversized, or sculpted and bent into its new position and stitched into place. In cases of excess skin it can be resected accordingly. Ear surgery leaves a barely visible scar on the posterior surface of each ear that fades with time and is barely noticeable. A bandage is wrapped around the head to protect and ensure the new positioning of the ears. Ear surgery lasts about 2-3 hours and is usually performed in our fully-accredited ambulatory surgery center.
Recovery and the postoperative period
Our cosmetic ear surgery is an outpatient procedure that requires only a short rest in our comfortable recovery suite. Once surgery is completed, you will recover fully from the effects of anesthesia, and be escorted home with your designated caregiver. Bandages will be replaced along with the surgical dressing after just a few days, and stitches are removed within that week. Patients of all ages usually feel normal the next day although the ears may be swollen, red, inflamed, and may ache for several days. Most adults return to work, and most children may return to school, within 5-7 days after ear surgery. Your doctor will instruct you carefully and thoroughly on your postoperative regimen and recovery period.
Your doctor recommends avoidance of strenuous physical exercise and contact sports, particularly with younger patients, for at least 6 weeks following cosmetic ear surgery.
Results of otoplasty surgery
The results of cosmetic ear surgery are flatter, shapelier, and better-proportioned ears. Results will be evident immediately after surgery, and although permanent, may change with time depending on various lifestyle and hereditary factors. The new balance and harmony of the face undoubtedly will improve self-confidence and esteem.
How much does ear surgery cost?
Cosmetic ear surgery costs vary depending on exactly what technique is used. This will be outlined in detail during your consultation. Financing options are readily available.
What are our patients saying after otoplasty surgery?
Our otoplasty surgery patients are thrilled with their new, flatter, and shapelier ears. Read what they have to say about the benefits of being a patient at Discreet Plastic Surgery.