Ears that stick out can be a source of teasing to a child as early as school age. Even with age, large ears or malshaped ears that pained us during childhood can cause feelings of self-consciousness regarding our appearance.
Prominent ears often are an inherited trait. Approximately 25% of children whose parents have prominent ears will also have them.
Surgery to correct prominent ears, called “otoplasty,” can be done at any age after five years. By five, the ear cartilage is strong enough to withstand surgery and has reached its adult size. Special suture techniques allow an otoplasty surgeon to reshape the ear cartilage into a natural shape.
Otoplasty Surgery is often done under general anesthesia for children but can be done with local anesthesia for adults. The procedure is generally about one hour for both ears and the recovery is days. Some swelling will be present for at one to two weeks after surgery but usually is mild.
Most patients are treated with a head dressing for the first day and then can usually use a head band to keep the ears comfortable for about a week.
Occasionally miner asymmetries can occur and touch up surgery may be required.
There are a number of different techniques in otoplasty surgery.
The main types are suture technique and scoring technique.
The suture technique uses long term sutures to mold the cartilage and permanently alter there shape. The sutures can rarely extrude thought the skin. If this does occur the new shape of the ear may have already been formed and the sutures just need to be removed. In some cases a revision operation may be needed. The advantage of this technique is that a natural bend in the cartilage is often achieved. Cartilage incisional techniques are also done to modify the ears shape. The advantage is that the results are permanent and there is less likelihood of suture extrusion as less suture material is used. The disadvantage is the potential unnatural crease that can occur from this technique.
Otoplasty Surgery Facts
Ear surgery is generally done to modify the ears shape. In some rare cases a large ear may be surgically reduced by excising a segment of it. This is generally avoided in most cases as it can lead to scarring and ear deformity. This procedure is generally reserved for select cases where the surgeon feels the risks of the surgery are justified.
|Before Otoplasty Surgery|
|After Otoplasty Surgery|
Before and After Otoplasty Surgery
View More: Otoplasty Surgery Photos