Otoplasty is a cosmetic ear surgery done to change the shape, size, or position of a person’s ears. Some people are bothered by how far their ears stick out, especially if they are, or have been, teased about them. Some people also consider otoplasty if their ears are misshapen due to a birth defect or if they have suffered an injury that has affected their ears. Otoplasty can be performed on almost anyone over the age of five, when ears have reached their full size.
Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that is typically done on both ears. The reason both ears will be surgically repaired is to promote symmetry of appearance. Otoplasty will not alter a person’s ability to hear because it only involves the outer portion of the ear. In the consultation with the surgeon, a patient will want to explain why s/he wants otoplasty and what s/he is hoping for in terms of appearance after the procedure. Understanding the “why” often helps a surgeon understand the precise direction to go in changing the appearance of a person’s ears.
While the position of the incisions will vary from patient to patient according to the specific technique a surgeon uses, the procedure for otoplasty is similar for all patients. Typically, the surgeon will make an incision to remove excess cartilage and skin. The cartilage will then be folded into the proper position and secured with internal stitches. Additional stitches will be used to close the incisions. Once the bandages are removed after the recovery and healing period, patients will notice an immediate difference in the appearance of his or her ears.
Obviously, otoplasty is a very personal decision. If you have considered changing the appearance of your ears, talk with a trusted plastic surgeon about your options.
Posted on behalf of Benjamin Stong, MD, Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC