Although children are particularly conscious of their ears, especially if they are protruding or overly large, anyone can feel self-conscious about their ears. Otoplasty, ear surgery, is a cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of the ears. It is most often performed to set the ears closer to the head. This is known commonly as ear pinning. Otoplasty can also reduce the size of the ears.
The most frequent ear surgeries are performed on children ages 4 to 14. The ears are almost fully developed by the age of 4, so early surgery can help create self-confidence when a child begins school.
Other uses for otoplasty
Pinning the ears and reducing ear size are the most frequent purposes for otoplasty. But there are other reasons it can be needed.
- Abnormal constructions (lop ear)
- Cauliflower ear (resulting from frequent trauma)
- Large, stretched or torn earlobes
- Earlobes with large creases and wrinkles
- Microtia (abnormally small ears)
New ears or parts of ears can be constructed for patients who are missing them due to birth defects, severe injuries, and skin cancer.
Otoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, usually requiring two to three hours. Young children usually receive general anesthesia, while adults are usually fine with local anesthesia and a sedative.
The procedure begins with a small incision made behind the ear, where the ear meets the head. The cartilage is then sculpted and bent to achieve the desired appearance. Sometimes excess skin and cartilage is removed. Sometimes, to achieve symmetry, both ears are operated on even if only one ear has a problem.
It usually takes about one week for general recovery. Stitches and dressings are removed around that time.
Do you have a child with protruding ears? Are your ears a source of embarrassment? Give us a call at (201) 664-8000 and let’s see what we can do.
Learn more about Otoplasty on Zwivel