Otoplasty (ear surgery) is a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of the ears. Otoplasty does not affect hearing, but can provide significant benefits to anyone who is teased or is self-conscious about ear size and/or shape, has had a serious ear injury, or simply wants to improve his or her appearance. Otoplasty is most often performed to correct unusually protruding ears.
Candidates For Otoplasty
People of any age who feel self-conscious about their ears may be good candidates for otoplasty, although it is typically performed on children between 5 and 14 years old. Ears are almost fully developed by the of age 5, so early surgery can help create self-confidence when a child begins going to school.
Otoplasty generally takes about one hour, and is performed on an outpatient basis. Otoplasty can be done with either general anesthesia, IV sedation or local anesthesia.
Otoplasty begins with a small incision being made behind the ear, in the natural crease where the ear meets the head. The cartilage is then shaped to achieve the desired appearance.
Recovery After Otoplasty
Medication is prescribed to help alleviate any discomfort. As with all surgery, rest and elevation of the head will help to minimize discomfort. A few days after otoplasty, the bandages around the head are removed. About one week following otoplasty, most patients are able to return to their normal routines.
Risks And Complications Of Otoplasty
Complications of otoplasty are rare and usually minor.
Torn Or Stretched Ear Lobes
Torn or stretched earlobes from trauma or heavy earrings can be repaired in a much less involved procedure under local anesthesia. Once healed, the ear can be pierced again as desired.