Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. Other ear deformities can also be treated surgically.
Most patients have their procedure done at our private in office surgical facility under either general or sedation anesthesia.
Ear surgery usually takes between one to three hours. The technique will depend on the problem. With one of the more common techniques, the surgeon makes a small incision in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. He or she will then sculpt the cartilage and bend it back toward the head. Non-removable stitches may be used to help maintain the new shape. Occasionally, the surgeon will remove a larger piece of cartilage to provide a more natural-looking fold when the surgery is complete.
All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk
When ear surgery is performed by a qualified, experienced surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, as with any operation, there are risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
A small percentage of patients may develop a blood clot on the ear. It may dissolve naturally or may need to be drained.
Occasionally, patients may develop an infection. The most common complication of the procedure would be recurrence of the deformity due to the elasticity of the ear cartilage.
Getting Back to Normal
This procedure is done as a day surgery. The patient’s head will be wrapped in a bulky bandage immediately following surgery to promote the best molding and healing. The ears may throb or ache a little for a few days, but this can be relieved by medication. Within a few days, the bulky bandages will be replaced by a lighter head dressing similar to a headband. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s directions for wearing this dressing, especially at night. Stitches are usually removed, or will dissolve, in about a week. Any activity in which the ear might be bent should be avoided for a month or so. Most adults can go back to work about five days after surgery.
Enjoy your New Shape with More Natural-Looking Ears!
Most patients, young and old alike, are thrilled with the results of ear surgery. But keep in mind, the goal is improvement, not perfection. Don’t expect both ears to match perfectly-perfect symmetry is both unlikely and unnatural in ears. If you’ve discussed the procedure and your expectations with the surgeon before the operation, chances are, you’ll be quite pleased with the result.
Other ear procedures
We also offer other earlobe procedures including repair of split earlobes from earrings and earlobe shortening. We remove keloids from earlobes as well.