WHAT IS OTOPLASTY?

Life is too short to hate the way your ears look. Many of our patients that come in for an otoplasty have been embarrassed of their ears for as long as they can remember. In grade school, people called them names due to the size of their ears, or the way they protruded from their head. As adults, many patients are unwilling to wear their hair in a certain way due to ear exposure, or choose to wear a certain hat everywhere they go. Otoplasty, however, can end this cycle.

Through otoplasty, we will move the tips of the ears closer to the head, reducing their prominence and streamlining your appearance. It is time for you to feel confident in the way you look!

 
 
 

WHO IS AN OTOPLASTY CANDIDATE?

Otoplasty is a common procedure, and one that is open to anyone that is looking to narrow the appearance of their ears. While most cosmetic surgery is reserved for adults, otoplasty is also frequently performed on young adults and children.

Most otoplasty procedures are performed on children to prevent teasing and taunting that that can be insufferable. If your child has overly prominent ears, otoplasty can solve the problem in as little as two weeks. This procedure can be life changing for children, especially if done at an early age. 

Another type of otoplasty we frequently do is to reduce stretched or large earlobes that occur as we age. This is a common add-on for a facelift surgery, but also can be done as a simple office procedure if desired.

 
 
 

WHAT DOES THE OTOPLASTY PROCEDURE ENTAIL?

Otoplasty is usually performed with general anesthesia for children, or a local anesthetic with sedation for youth and adults. The surgery typically lasts between one to two and a half hours, depending upon whether we are doing one or both ears. Different ear issues require variations in the procedure, but the following represents a standard ear pinning surgery.

Once the anesthesia is given, the incisions are hidden by making them on the back of the ear. This location gives direct access to the ear’s cartilage that needs the change in contour. The ear is reshaped by scoring, trimming, or thinning the cartilage, in addition to any excess skin that may be present. The ear is repositioned closer to the head and the incision is closed with dissolvable sutures.

In addition to tucking back prominent ears, it is also common for us to reduce stretched or sagging earlobes that can occur after years of wearing earrings. This procedure is much more simple and can be done in the office with local anesthesia only, or can be performed in conjunction with other procedures while in the surgery suite. The aged appearance of earlobes can be a surprisingly easy enhancement to many facial rejuvenation plans.

 
 
 

WHAT IS THE RECOVERY PERIOD?

Following the surgery, it is normal to experience some swelling, soreness, and discomfort. We will prescribe pain medication to help you manage any pain following the surgery. After surgery, dissolving stitches will be used and these take approximately one week to dissolve. We will also wrap your head with special cotton bandages known as “fluff bandages.” After 3 days, these bandages can be removed. We will give you lightweight bandages to wear once the fluff bandages are taken off. These lightweight bandages can be discarded one week after the procedure.

Recovery times may vary, but we usually find that patients are able to return to work or school in 4-7 days. If your child is getting this procedure done, we recommend scheduling it during summer or Christmas break. This will make it easier on him/her to abstain from physical activities and contact sports throughout the healing process.

As for physical activity, we recommend light walking the day after the procedure to prevent blood clots from forming. Avoid any jogging or strenuous activities for two to three weeks, and wait four weeks to resume any heavy lifting. Contact sports should be completely avoided for 6-8 weeks.

 
 
 

OTOPLASTY RESULTS:

 Following the otoplasty surgery, you will notice immediate results. Your ears will no longer protrude as they once did; however, due to swelling, it takes time for the final results to appear. 

That being said, once your swelling subsides you will be left with natural-looking, permanent results. 

 
 

Before & After Ear Pinning:

To view more before & afters, visit our Ear Pinning Before & After page

Procedures Performed:

  • Ear Pinning

Procedures Performed:

  • Ear Pinning

Procedures Performed:

  • Ear Pinning