Ear Reconstruction

Ear defects can be the result of trauma, congenital hypoplasia (microtia which results from incomplete embryonic development) and cancer ablation. Some patients simply have prominent ears they want to address. Ear reconstruction includes otoplasty (treatment of prominent ears), microtia repair (addressing missing or malformed ears) and ear defects (due to cancer surgery or trauma). With microtia, a new ear is created from the patient’s own tissue and cartilage or an artificial ear is created. For ear defects and otoplasty, the surgeon removes cartilage and skin and reshapes the ear. Sutures hold the ear into position during the healing process.

Good candidates for ear reconstruction surgery include patients that have always been bothered by the appearance of their prominent ears. Children who are often teased by classmates and adults that lack self-confidence due to the size of their ears are good candidates. In addition, people who have suffered trauma to their ears or were born with ears that are deformed or missing are ideal candidates. Adults of any age are good candidates and children need to be at least five or six years old because the ears reach 80-90% of their adult size by that age.

The cost of ear reconstruction surgery depends on the amount of work that needs to be done and if surgery is performed on one or both ears. In addition, the price can vary due to the surgical technique used, any fees charged by the doctor or the facility and the geographic location of the procedure. The cost is typically in the range of $3000-$7000.

The recovery process depends on the amount of work performed and the overall health of the patient. The head will be wrapped with padded cotton bandages at first and then a soft headband will be used to hold the surgically treated ears in place. The ears will be swollen and bruised but this will resolve over time. The downtime at home is about a week before patients can resume their normal activities. The full recovery period is four to six weeks. The results can be seen almost immediately after the surgery. While further improvements can take up to a year, the results of ear reconstruction surgery are typically permanent.



submitted on   Wed Dec, 30, 2015 by Robert Troell, MD     
Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning, is a surgical procedure that corrects ear defects or deformities that are present from birth or are the result of an injury or previous surgery. The complexity of the surgery depends on the patient’s anatomical concerns. Some cases are simple and easy to...