Otoplasty (ear surgery) is a procedure which takes place in order to change the shape, position or size of the ears. It can be done at any age but it is usually performed after the age of 5, however, in certain cases, it can be done as early as the age of 3.
If a child is born with prominent ears, a special splint may correct the problem, if performed immediately after birth.
Otoplasty is typically done on both ears to optimize symmetry.
- Review of your medical history.
- Physical exam.
- Discussion upon your expectations.
- Stop aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal complements
- Stop smoking for 3 weeks before and after surgery
Types of anesthesia
- Local anesthesia
- General anesthesia
During the procedure
The incisions might be on the back of your ears and rarely within the inner creases. The excess of cartilage might be removed or just sutured posteriorly. We also ford the cartilage into the proper position and secure it with internal stiches.
The procedure typically takes about two hours.
After the procedure
After the otoplasty, your ears will be covered in bandages for protection and support. Pain medications are recommended.
To keep pressure off your ears, avoid sleeping on your side. Also try not to rub or place excessive force on the incisions.
A few days after the otoplasty, the bandages are removed. Your ears will most likely be swollen and red. You'll need to wear a loose headband that covers your ears at night for two to six weeks.
- Scarring. While scars are permanent, they'll likely be hidden behind your ears or within the creases of your ears.
- Asymmetry in ear placement. This could occur as a result of changes during the healing process. Also, the surgery might not successfully correct pre-existing asymmetry.
- Changes in skin sensation. During otoplasty, the repositioning of your ears can temporarily affect skin sensation in the area. Rarely, changes are permanent.
- Problems with stitches. Stitches used to secure the ear's new shape might work their way to the surface of the skin and need to be removed. This can cause inflammation of the affected skin. As a result, you might need additional surgery.
- Overcorrection. Otoplasty can create unnatural contours that make ears appear to be pinned back.
Like any other type of major surgery, otoplasty poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia. It's also possible to have an allergic reaction to the surgical tape or other materials used during or after the procedure.
After your bandages are removed, you'll notice an immediate change in the appearance of your ears. These changes are permanent.