Ears come in all shapes, sizes, and protrusions. Congenital deformities or injuries can cause ears to become misshapen, overly large, or prominent. Individuals whose ears are deformed or prominent often experience embarrassment and ridicule. Children are particularly sensitive to teasing and may experience psychological trauma, self-consciousness, and poor self-image as a result. Otoplasty, or ear pinning, can be performed to correct ear deformities and improve the appearance of the ears in children or adults of any age. Improvements in ear appearance can also improve facial balance, overall appearance, and self-confidence.
Otoplasty Can Correct One or More of the Following:
- Prominent ears
- Protruding ears
- Overly large ears
- Misshapen or deformed ears
- Dissatisfying results from a previous ear surgery
Good Candidates for Otoplasty
People of all ages can undergo otoplasty. While it can be performed on children as young as age four to save them from future ridicule, candidates should want it for themselves. It is best if the candidate’s ears are fully grown, which typically occurs by age six or seven. Candidates should be healthy, have stable ear cartilage, and have realistic expectations about the results.
Otoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Adult patients are placed under either local or general anesthesia, and it is recommended that young children be placed under general anesthesia. Dr. Conrad will make inconspicuous incisions behind the ears or in the ear folds so that there will be no noticeable scars after the procedure. He will then reshape the cartilage, removing some if necessary to reduce ear size and prominence. The procedure may last as long as two hours, and a dressing will be applied at the end to protect the ears as they heal.
After otoplasty, patients should rest at home for the duration of the day. Any swelling or discomfort may be treated with pain medication. Typically, pain medication is not needed after two days, and any swelling or bruising is gone within two weeks. Within a few days of treatment, the dressing is removed and the patient wears a headband to protect the ears and hold them in place so that they heal properly. In most cases, patients should wear this headband day and night for the two weeks after surgery, at which point they can wear it at night only for a few more weeks. Most individuals can resume normal activities in as few as five to seven days but should avoid exercise for several weeks. Everything should feel back to normal within four to six weeks.
Immediately after surgery, your ears may look like they are flat against your head. However, as they heal over the following weeks, it will become clear how much better your newly improved ears look. The results of otoplasty are permanent, and your ears will continue to age naturally. Patient satisfaction is high, and many patients are amazed and relieved to see the dramatic improvements that ear surgery made for their appearance.
If you are dissatisfied with the look of your ears, contact our practice today to learn more about how otoplasty can improve their appearance. Call us at (316) 681-2227 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your personal consultation with our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Matthew Conrad.