What is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning, or cosmetic surgery of the ear, is a procedure to change the shape, position or size of the ear. Patients with ears that are prominent and tend to stick out too far from the head have often experienced teasing and diminished self-confidence. Surgery is used to change the shape of the cartilages in the ear and to make the ears appear flatter and closer to the head, bringing balance and proportion to your ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can materially benefit both your appearance and self-esteem.
Who is a Good Candidate for Ear Surgery?
Most patients who have more prominent ears are good candidates for otoplasty. Ear surgery can be performed as soon as the ears have finished or nearly finished growing, which occurs at a young age. Parents often choose otoplasty for their children as young as four or five years old so that they can avoid teasing when they start school. When performed on children, it is important that the patient is mature enough to follow instructions and communicate their own feelings about undergoing the procedure. Otoplasty can be performed into adulthood as well. It can also be an option for patients who experience some sort of injury or trauma that affected the appearance of the ear.
Before your ear surgery, Dr. Maxwell will evaluate your overall health by reviewing your health history and any medications you take. This ensures that otoplasty is a safe option for you. Patients should be nonsmokers and free from any illnesses or conditions that would interfere with healing.
What is the Otoplasty Procedure Like?
Otoplasty is a relatively simple surgery that can usually be performed with local anesthesia alone, unless you are pairing it with another surgery. For most patients, incisions are made on the back of the ear so that scarring is well hidden. Cartilage from the conchal area of the ear is removed. This is the bowl-shaped, deepest portion of the external ear. Removing excess tissue from this area results in a less prominent shape with reduced projection. Once these steps are complete, the incision can be closed using sutures, and bandages and dressings are applied to the ears. The entire otoplasty procedure typically takes about one to two hours to complete. Dr. Maxwell can explain what you can expect in detail during your consultation appointment.
Ear Surgery Recovery and Results
After ear surgery, you can expect some discomfort. Dr. Maxwell can prescribe pain medications to keep you comfortable. Itching below bandages is also normal, and it is important to leave bandages in place according to Dr. Maxwell’s instructions. Swelling is also expected, so compression garments similar to a headband may be worn over the ears. By the third day, most swelling and discomfort should subside. Typically, patients are ready to return to school, work, or other activities a week after their otoplasty. It may be recommended to continue wearing your compression headband for about six weeks after your surgery. Final results can usually be seen about three months after the procedure when all residual swelling subsides.
Schedule a Consultation
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Maxwell and learn more about otoplasty, call Maxwell Aesthetics in Tucson at (520) 751-1225 or contact us online.