What is ear surgery (Otoplasty)
Patients or parents of children with prominent ears will often seek this procedure as a way to alleviate teasing or ridicule by seeking a more “normal” acceptable appearance.
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. Because ears are almost fully grown by age four, the earlier the surgery, the less teasing and ridicule a child will have to endure. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient.
Besides protruding ears, there are a variety of other ear problems that can be helped with surgery. These include: “lop ear,” when the tip seems to fold down and forward; “cupped ear,” which is usually a very small ear; and “shell ear,” when the curve in the outer rim, as well as the natural folds and creases, are missing. Surgery can also improve large or stretched earlobes, or lobes with large creases and wrinkles.
Am I a good candidate for ear surgery?
It is recommended that parents be sensitive to their child’s feelings about protruding ears, and wait until the child wants the change before pursuing this treatment. Children who feel self-conscious about their ears and want this change are generally more cooperative during the process and happier with the outcome.
If you are considering ear surgery, keep in mind, the goal is improvement, not perfection. Don’t expect both ears to match perfectly. Having a positive and realistic outlook about the results of this procedure will ensure a most satisfactory experience. Most patients, young and old alike, are thrilled with the results of ear surgery!
In the initial meeting, your surgeon will evaluate your (or your child’s) condition, and recommend the most effective technique. Ear surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure either under local or general anesthesia. The technique used will depend on the particular problem that is individual to each patient.
Ear Surgery before and after pictures
To view ear surgery before and after photos, please schedule a complimentary viewing of our photo gallery with our patient coordinator. We also encourage you to schedule a consult with Dr. Freed to learn more about ear surgery as well as view before and after photos.
What will my recovery be like?
Patients go home with gauze over their ears but are able to remove this 24 hours after surgery. They may shower with soap, water and shampoo, however, they must be very careful not to bend the ears back. They will then apply antiobitic ointment daily to the incision lines and then light gauze and a head band or ace wrap at all times for the first 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, the sutures are removed and no more ointment or gauze is needed. The head band is then worn only when sleeping for the next month. No exercise for the first 2 weeks.