Otoplasty is commonly known as surgery to pin back protruding ear(s). This is a procedure performed on individuals of all ages. It is the only plastic surgery procedure commonly performed on children. A child as young as six years old can undergo the procedure as their ears are 90% or more of their adult size. The potentially dramatic results that can be obtained by this relatively minor surgery, including the reshaping, reduction in size, creation of symmetry as well as pinning back of the ears, can improve an individual’s self-esteem.
Achieving Proportional, Symmetric Ears
The goal in otoplasty is to create ears that are symmetric and in proportion to the size and shape of the face and head. Hearing will not be affected in any way.
The procedure involves the sculpting of the ear cartilage and the removal of excess skin and occasionally cartilage. The ear, technically speaking, is not pinned back or sutured to the skin behind the ear, but rather, the natural shape of the ear is restored through sutures that are all internal and the sculpting of cartilage. The results, once healed, are permanent and a virtually undetectable incision is hidden on the back of the side of the ear in a skin crease. Read more on a new technique developed by Dr. Epstein in the article The “Electric” Otoplasty that describes attaining reliable and natural-appearing results of the ears.
Ear Surgery Recovery
Otoplasty is a two- to three-hour procedure that is performed on an out-patient basis. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia, but in adults and motivated children over the age of nine or ten, can be performed under local anesthesia with some oral sedation.
A compressive dressing is usually worn for the first three days and then a headband is worn for two weeks. There is usually only minimal discomfort and mild bruising. Most regular activities can be resumed after the dressing is removed. Contact Dr. Epstein for any questions you may have on the otoplasty procedure. See other facial plastic surgery procedures.