Ear Surgery (Otoplasty, Earlobe Repair)
For children, “pinning” the ears is a common technique used during otoplasty to achieve this desired result. Large and/or protruding ears can result in bullying or name-calling which can make adjustment to school difficult and reduce self-confidence as they enter adulthood. Fortunately, this problem is easily corrected once a child’s ears grow to their full size, usually between five and six years of age, and when your child can cooperate with post-operative instructions and restrictions.
For adult patients we may select a different approach to reshape or reduce the size of the ears to improve symmetry with the contours of the face. During the cosmetic consultation, patients learn about a variety of techniques that provide exceptional results and ears that complement the face.
The technique used during ear surgery will depend on the abnormality. First, there may be an insufficient amount of ear cartilage to support the fold of the ear, or too much cartilage where the ear canal starts. Both issues will cause the ear to protrude outward. In some cases, the ears may appear too large. Regardless of the condition, the cartilage will be addressed and either removed or reshaped. Then, the cartilage will be secured with sutures into a new position closer to the head. The incision is generally placed within the natural folds of the ear, so scarring is not an issue.
All otoplasties are performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure in an accredited surgical facility. The entire surgery typically takes about 2 hours to complete. After surgery, patients will be sent home with their head wrapped in a compression bandage, which will later be replaced with lighter bandaging. Initially, patients will feel discomfort if they attempt to move their ears. This will subside in a few days. Younger patients will need to be monitored so they do not touch or play with their ears during the healing process.