Otoplasty, also known as ear surgery, is a cosmetic facial plastic surgery procedure to improve the shape, proportion and/or position of the ear. Ear surgery can also provide aesthetic correction in patients suffering from congenital ear structure defects or injuries after birth. Otoplasty can help create or restore natural shape while balancing the face and ears to provide a more desirable appearance as well as a boost in self-esteem.
Otoplasty generally refers to the technique to “pin back” protruding or prominent ears so that they lay closer to the head. Incisions are made behind the ears in order to reposition the concha and helix, ultimately bringing the earlobes closer to the head. Microtia repair surgery is another type of ear surgery that is used to treat a birth defect where the ear did not form or is only partially formed. This repair uses autologous cartilage or implants to build or create a complete ear. Torn earlobes which frequently result from earring trauma are surgically closed or reconstructed with autologous earlobe tissue. Otoplasty revision is the surgical correction of a previous otoplasty where a skilled surgeon will adjust or correct whatever previous plastic surgery technique failed or was less than desirable for the otoplasty patient.
What is involved in otoplasty surgery?
Otoplasty is commonly performed in an outpatient surgical facility and takes approximately two hours. Depending on the individual procedure, local anesthesia can be administered; however, in more extensive procedures and in children, general anesthesia is recommended. Incisions are usually made behind the ear or within the ear creases. Cartilage may be sculpted and bent back toward the head with non-removable sutures used to help maintain the new shape, or cartilage may be removed to create a natural-looking ear fold.
Dressings and/or bandages will be applied to the ears post procedure for added support and protection. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication as needed. Bandages are typically removed after a few days of surgery. Any non-absorbable stitches are removed in the doctor’s office a few weeks post surgery. Patients can expect swollen and tender ears for about four to six weeks following otoplasty treatment. Unnecessary pressure should be avoided, so it is recommended that patients wear loose fitting shirt collars and rest on their back. Otoplasty results are immediate and permanent.
You may consider ear surgery if you:
- Are at least five years of age and older, as ears do not grow their full size until around age five
- Were born with a congenital ear structure defect or suffered an injury
- Are bothered or embarrassed by the size or prominence of your years
- Are dissatisfied with your previous otoplasty results
Dr. Paul S. Nassif is a world-renowned facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon located in Beverly Hills, California. To learn more about otoplasty and how it may benefit you, please contact us or call (310) 275-2467 to schedule a private otoplasty consultation today.