Many patients, young and old, find themselves struggling with misshapen or overly large ears due to genetics or certain lifestyle factors. Ears that are too big or stick out can make a person self-conscious about the way they look. This can especially affect how children and teenagers feel about themselves. Otoplasty, or ear surgery, can improve the size and shape of your ears to improve your facial balance and boost your self-esteem.
Am I a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
Ideal candidates interested in undergoing ear surgery must be in good health, nonsmokers, and realistic about their expectations. Dr. Carpenter will examine the condition of your ears to determine the best approach for your procedure to ensure your ears are balanced with the rest of your face.
You may benefit from otoplasty if you struggle with one or more of the following concerns:
- Large or small ears
- Disproportionate ears
- Protruding ears
- Misshapen ears due to an injury
How Is Otoplasty Performed?
Otoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and can take between a few minutes and an hour to complete. The amount of cartilage that may need to be removed or repositioned will depend on your age and the anatomy of your ears.
During your procedure, an incision is placed either inside or behind the ear to hide any visible scarring. Excess cartilage and tissue are then removed while the remaining cartilage is reshaped and the incisions are closed using surgical sutures.
Protruding ears can be remedied with “ear pinning” surgery. This involves the reshaping of the cartilage just behind the ear so that it lays flatter against the head. This is usually performed on children between the ages of five and six, but adults may undergo the procedure as well.
What Will My Recovery Be Like?
Following your otoplasty procedure, a dressing will be wrapped around the treated area to protect your new contours and minimize swelling. A drainage tube may be placed to collect any excess fluid or blood. Swelling and bruising should resolve after a few weeks.
Be sure you keep your head elevated when resting to avoid putting pressure on your ears. You will be able to return to work and light physical activity one week after your surgery, or unless instructed otherwise by Dr. Carpenter.
What Results Can I Expect?
You can expect long-lasting to permanent results that will enhance facial balance and your overall appearance. Final results typically become apparent a few weeks after your surgery.