Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)
What is Ear Surgery?
Ear Surgery or Otoplasty, restores ear aesthetics by bringing, prominent protruding ears closer to the head or reducing overly large sized ears. Although Otoplasty can be performed on adults, it is most commonly done on children between the ages of 6 and 14. Ears reach full growth by age 6, and if they are noticeably large, protuberant, or out of balance with the shape of the head, children can become the target of bullying, teasing and ridicule. Parents should remain aware of their child’s emotions and attitude, since the child’s cooperation and willingness to have the problem corrected will impact a successful outcome.
What other problems can be addressed with Ear Surgery?
Other ear problems that can be addressed with Otoplasty include cupped ear – which is a very small ear; shell ear – where the outer curve and natural folds and creases are missing; and lop ear – which has the tip folding down and forward. Large, stretched earlobes, or lobes with large wrinkles, can be corrected through Otoplasty. In most cases, scarring is minimal. During your consultation with Dr. Duboys, an individualized surgical approach will be outlined such that your “new ear” will be esthetically more pleasing.
Dr. Duboys typically performs the surgery in his fully certified in-office surgical suite. This state-of-the-art operating room is fully approved by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities a convenience that is another solid reason to trust Dr. Duboys & Associated Plastic Surgeons & Consultants, PC.
The Otoplasty Procedure
For large protruding ears, the operation begins with a short incision at the back of the ear to expose the cartilage. The cartilage is then sculpted into a new shape resulting in an ear that is closer to the head. Pieces of cartilage may be removed, creating a more natural-looking ear fold. The procedure usually takes between 2-3 hours.
The head is bandaged for several days to promote molding and healing. After a few days, a lighter, headband-type dressing is used. Healing is quick, with minimal risk of complication. Some bruising and puffiness is normal, and discomfort is minor. Most patients can return to school and other activities after seven days. Children should be encouraged to minimize rough play and strenuous activity for the first 6 weeks.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After the procedure, patients experience a noticeable difference in size and shape of the ears, with a more natural balance and symmetry. Both children and adults are generally extremely happy with the results of Otoplasty.