Changes Achievable with Otoplasty
Individuals with protruding, oversized or asymmetrical ears may not know that cosmetic ear surgery is available to correct ear shape, size, protrusion or position. Otoplasty, sometimes referred to as “ear pinning,” can address all these issues. Otoplasty can also benefit children with misshapen ears due to birth abnormalities or trauma. Unusually large or split earlobes, as well as “lop ear” or ears that fold over at the top, are also treatable with otoplasty.
Sadly, protruding or large ears may be the cause of bullying for children or teens. In adults, shame around ear appearance can lead individuals to avoid photos or wear their hair up or short. Parents may seek surgery to improve a child’s self-confidence in some cases.
In adults, patients may wear hats to hide their ears. For some, lifelong shame or embarrassment as result of a noticeable ear shape irregularity can be solved in a simple outpatient procedure. Correcting these issues surgically via otoplasty can boost self-esteem and confidence radically.
Candidates for Otoplasty
Appropriate otoplasty candidates include patients who:
- Are over age 5-6 (when ears stop growing)
- Possess overall positive self-image yet are concerned particularly about their large, asymmetrical, protruding or deformed ears
- Are in good general mental and physical health
- Have reasonable expectations of ear surgery outcome
- Understand possible surgical risks but believe feel the benefits of otoplasty outweigh the possible risks
- Are non-smokers or are willing to cease smoking during before surgery and during recovery (due to smoking reducing blood flow to the skin and slowing rates of healing)
For adult otoplasty, the procedure is most often done outpatient. A local anesthetic is usually combined with a very mild sedative. Patients may require pain medication as they recover from surgery. Children, however, are usually placed under general anesthesia for otoplasty.
During otoplasty, we augment the fold located just inside the rim of each ear. Cartilage in the largest external ear pocket is also removed as needed. Incisions are typically made on the back of the ear, or, if needed, in the front of the ear but in a discreet location hidden by ear folds. Internal sutures are used to support a new ear and cartilage shape. After surgery, a dressing is worn for 3-5 days, and the patient will be instructed to sleep in a headband for around three weeks. The ears may be swollen or discolored for around a week.
Otoplasty results are permanent and can be enjoyed for a lifetime with no need for update or corrective surgery. Benefits of otoplasty surgery include:
- Permanent repositioning of the ears to lay flat against the sides of the head
- Reduction in the prominence of unnecessarily large ears
- Permanent improved appearance and cartilage restructuring in congenital ear abnormalities
How to Learn More
We are happy to answer your questions about whether otoplasty surgery may benefit you. To schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Greenwald, or to find out more about cosmetic ear surgery, please contact one of the New York offices in Harrison, Carmel or Manhattan.