Otoplasty, also referred to as plastic ear surgery or ear pinning, is a cosmetic surgery where the surgeon makes adjustments to the size, shape and position of the ears. Some patients want to have otoplasty to address the size or shape of ears that protrude too far from the head while others have otoplasty to correct a structural abnormality to the ears that might have been present since birth. Want to learn more about the benefits of otoplasty as well as how it is performed? If so, take a look at the informative article below.
Otoplasty is performed on the outer ear which is known as the auricle. In general, the auricle is comprised of cartilage folds that are covered by skin. The auricle starts to develop before birth and will continue to develop after a person is born. If the auricle does not develop properly, a patient can undergo otoplasty in order to make alterations in the position, shape or size of the ears.
There are many different ear correction options available when a patient decides to have otoplasty:
When it comes to otoplasty, ideal candidates include:
Children that are 5 or 6 years of age can have otoplasty performed because, by that age, the ears have developed to a size that is close to an adult. Many teenagers have the procedure and there is no age limit for adults that want to undergo otoplasty.
Otoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and it can take anywhere from 1-3 hours. The length of the surgery depends on the specific case of the patient.
Otoplasty is started by the creation of an incision on the back of the ear or inside the folds of the ear. The surgeon will then manipulate the tissue of the ear to remove excess cartilage and skin. In addition, the surgeon will fold and shape the cartilage to achieve the desired look. The remaining cartilage is stitched back together and the incision is closed with stitches.
Otoplasty can be performed on only one ear. If it is performed on both ears, this technique is known as bilateral otoplasty. The final result is an appearance to the ear that is more natural in its size and shape.
Once the procedure is performed, a bandage is placed over the ears to protect them. The bandage can be worn for about a week before it is removed. Once the bandage is removed, the patient will need to wear a headband for another 4-6 weeks in order to protect the ears.
There will also be some bruising and swelling that will resolve on its own.
Patients will need to avoid sleeping on their ears and should also wear button-up shirts that they don’t have to pull over their head.
The ears will start to look better after 2-3 weeks but it can take a year for the final results to become visible. As long as the patient does not suffer any trauma or injury to the ears, the results should last a lifetime.
The cost of otoplasty normally runs anywhere from $3000-$7000. The cost depends on the amount of work that needs to be performed during the surgery, the type of work that is done on the ears, the area of the country where it is performed and any fees charged by the doctor or the facility.
The first step in the otoplasty process is scheduling a consultation appointment with a board-certified surgeon that is experienced in performing the procedure. The doctor will examine the patient to determine the type of changes that can be made to the ears, the amount of changes that can be made and if the person is an ideal candidate for otoplasty.