Ear Correction (Otoplasty)
Unfortunately “kids can be cruel”, young children, teens and adults are often teased or whispered about regarding their prominent ears. Thankfully this procedure can be relatively simple and inexpensive.
These procedures are often carried out in the younger years, healed and forgotten about. Truly such a generally “simple” procedure can make the world of a difference in self esteem and social or academic maturity or advancement.
What Is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty is surgery designed to pin the ears closer to the head or lessen the appearance of larger than average ears. It is most commonly performed on children and teens. However, many young adults seek Otoplasty in their life after earning enough to pay for the surgery themselves.
Some Otoplasties involve removing a sliver of cartilage from the ear and suturing the cartilage back together allowing it to fuse together either closer to the head or of a smaller size.
Ear pinning is not the only complaint that can be resolved by Otoplasty. This procedure can correct ears that have congenital deformities as well as those caused by trauma or habits of “ear pulling”. Many toddlers tend to pull on their ears during the teething stage and this habit may remain throughout their younger years well after their teeth have emerged. Ear pulling or congenital deformities can leave children with stretched earlobes (which can be corrected with a slight snip of the excess skin). As well as the uncurling of the natural folds and the folding over of the top of the ear.
Are You a Candidate for Otoplasty?
First and foremost, an individual must be in good health, not have any active diseases or pre-existing medical conditions and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of their surgery. Communication is crucial in reaching one’s goals. You must be able to voice your desires to your surgeon if he/she is to understand what your desired results are. Discuss you goals with your surgeon so that you may reach an understanding with what can realistically be achieved.
Risks & Complications of Otoplasty
Unfortunately, All surgery has risks and complications. With otoplasty, these include allergic reaction to the anesthetic used and infection. There is the chance of asymmetry, dissatisfaction, hematoma, seroma, infection, and general dissatisfaction.
Numbness is possible, it usually subsides within the first few weeks but it may become a permanent issue. Excess scar tissue is possible as well, but is usually rare. The possibility of asymmetry can be corrected easily so this should not worry you extensively but should be considered.
Ear surgery usually takes about two to three hours, although complicated procedures may take longer. The technique will depend on the problem.
With one of the more common techniques, the surgeon makes a small incision in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. He or she will then sculpt the cartilage and bend it back toward the head. Non-removable stitches may be used to help maintain the new shape. Occasionally, the surgeon will remove a larger piece of cartilage to provide a more natural-looking fold when the surgery is complete.
Another technique involves a similar incision in the back of the ear. Skin is removed and stitches are used to fold the cartilage back on itself to reshape the ear without removing cartilage. In most cases, ear surgery will leave a faint scar in the back of the ear that will fade with time. Even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually performed on both ears for a better balance.
European Society of Aesthetic Surgery
American Academy Of Cosmetic Surgery
Canadian Association for Neuroscience