Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to permanently correct malformed ears, including protruding ears, very small or large ears, ears lacking natural creases and bent ear tips. The most common ear surgery procedure is ear pinning surgery, which addresses large, protruding ears that have excess cartilage, but ear surgery may involve any number of techniques to reshape and resize ears and make them more symmetrical.
Who Is a Candidate for Otoplasty?
Most patients who undergo ear surgery are children 4-14 years old. The ears are fully formed on children by the time a child has reached four years old, so there is no risk of a child’s growth interfering with ear surgery results. Ear surgery is performed on adults as well, but many people pursue surgery for their child if they suffer from an ear deformity to help them avoid teasing during childhood. In general, ear surgery is a procedure that provides lasting aesthetic improvement in patients of all ages who suffer from lop ears, cup or shell ears, protruding ears and other ear deformities.
How Does Ear Surgery Work?
Depending on a patient’s age and individual needs, they are placed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation during otoplasty. The procedure takes about 2-3 hours to perform and is generally performed on both ears, even if only one is significantly affected by deformity, in order to improve the asymmetry of the end result. Scars are typically well hidden in natural ear folds, and dissolvable and permanent stitches may be used to help hold ears in place immediately following surgery and later on.
A bandage is placed over the ears to protect them for about two weeks after surgery, and activity is restricted for 1-3 weeks. Patients are usually entirely functional after one week, but activity restrictions, especially for children, may be needed to ensure your results are not compromised. After 2-3 weeks, most swelling and bruising should be resolved, and you will begin to see your final ear surgery results.
Contact New Horizons Plastic Surgery
If you or your child suffers from an ear deformity and desires ear surgery, contact New Horizons Plastic Surgery at (936) 564-3744 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gregory Wittpenn and find out if otoplasty is right for you. Dr. Wittpenn is an expert Nacgodoches plastic surgeon and serves patients from cities all over eastern Texas and western Louisiana, including Lufkin, Huntsville, Tyler and Shreveport.