can be performed under either general or local anesthesia to improve shape, proportion, or the position of the ear. Also known as otoplasty or ear reshaping.
Cosmetic surgery of the ear, or otoplasty, is an aesthetic procedure that alters the size, position, or proportion of the ears. The outcome of ear reshaping surgery varies greatly depending on the changes that are desired, but these procedures generally improve self-confidence, especially in children and teenagers. If the ears stick out, ear pinning can be performed to flatten the ears against the head. If one ear is positioned higher than the other, ear repositioning can create symmetry.
You may want to consider ear surgery: If your ears have reached their full size, which usually happens around age six. Children are common patients for this procedure. A set-back otoplasty, which is a procedure to reduce the prominence of ears that stick out too much, can be performed on adults as well as children.
Ear surgery procedure:
In children, the cartilage is soft enough that splints can be used for contouring during surgery. This is typically done under general anesthesia. Adults, however, have harder cartilage, and the procedure must be carried out by removing or repositioning cartilage after making a small incision in the ear.
Depending on your anatomy and desired changes, your doctor may make an incision hidden inside or behind the ear. Extra cartilage or soft tissue that makes the ear “stick out” too much can be removed. If normal folds are missing from the ear, they can be re-created by shaping the cartilage with permanent sutures or scraping the cartilage to contour it. Sometimes a combination of techniques is needed to get the desired result.
The location of your incisions will depend largely on what changes you wish to make. However, you can expect the incisions to be made in inconspicuous locations, either in the back of your ear where it connects to the head, or within the inner folds of your ear.
Preparation for surgery:
Stop smoking at least six weeks before your surgery to promote better healing.
Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that
can cause increased bleeding.
Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
Practice good skincare. You should rinse the skin on and around your ears with warm water and use sunscreen.
Eating well, minimizing stress, and exercising frequently are important to make sure you are best prepared for your surgery. You should also plan ahead for the recovery period after your procedure by taking time off from work and ensuring that you have everything you’ll need close at hand while recovering.
Immediately after surgery:
Following the procedure, you will have dressing wrapped around your ears. Soon after the procedure, your doctor will remove this heavier bandage to inspect the ears, and will likely replace it with a lighter dressing. It’s essential to keep this dressing in place unless instructed to do otherwise by your doctor. Your surgeon may also prescribe medication to take during your recovery period.
one week after your procedure, you will return to the doctor’s office. Your surgeon may remove stitches at this time, though absorbable stitches are often used, which do not require removal.
Though recovery is unique for every patient, you can expect to return to work and any light activity after one week. In two weeks, your final results will be visible, though small changes to the ears can occur for up to twelve months.