What Is Aesthetic Surgery Of The Ear Or Otoplasty?
Ear surgery, called Otoplasty, is most commonly performed to reposition protruding ears closer to the head. Ears that “stick out” too far can cause ridicule and significant psychological distress. This operation can be designed to shape, position and size ears to a normal appearance. Ears are almost fully developed by 4-6 years of age so that an Otoplasty is typically performed at 4 or older. However, there is no age limit and an Otoplasty can be successfully performed on adults as well. Other ear deformities, such as “lop ears”, “cup ears”, or “constricted ears” can be corrected with reconstructive procedures.
The goal is to produce symmetrical, natural looking ears that don’t protrude or have any evidence of being surgically corrected.
In addition to the ears, there are surgical procedures just to address stretched, creased, or split earlobes.
Most children, if questioned, are very unhappy about having protruding ears, especially if they are teased about this. Therefore they usually are enthusiastic and cooperative during the process and are happy with the results.
Dr. Sargent offers 30+ years of experience in Plastic Surgery to Chattanooga, TN., and has his own in-office operative suite.
Am I A Candidate For Aesthetic Ear Surgery?
You may be a candidate if you have the following:
protruding or prominent ears
have some congenital ear problems such as partial development
What Is Involved In Otoplasty?
The procedure is usually performed under intravenous general anesthesia. Analysis of the particular deformity is key to determining the best procedure to correct the problem. An incision is made behind the ear to expose the cartilage. Reshaping the cartilage is performed using sutures to maintain the new shape. Additional techniques may be needed depending on the deformity. The scar is behind the ear and not easily visible. The patient is wrapped in a turban-like dressing for 4-5 days. Once this is removed a sweatband is worn to protect the ears particularly when sleeping.
Patients may resume normal activities in one week. Children can go back to school in one week and no playground activities for 4 weeks.
All Procedures Shown were done by Larry A. Sargent, M.D. FACS
Length Of Surgery
Usually 1 1/2-2 hours for a cosmetic procedure. More for a reconstructive procedure.
Intravenous sedation or general anesthesia
Length Of Stay
Usually outpatient procedure
Restrict activities first few days
Bandage off in 4-5 days then sweatband at night
Return to school/work 7 days
Avoid contact sports 4-6 weeks
Scars hidden behind ears
Risks / Possible Complications
Serious complications are unlikely.
In addition to usual risks associated with anesthesia often risks include:
Hematoma: collection of blood beneath skin that may need to be drained.
Infection: Unusual to occur but if it does, it can be treated with antibiotics
Suture erosion: Occasionally one of the permanent sutures used to reshape cartilage will have a localized reaction causing it to breakthrough skin. This can be treated by removing sutures without compromising results.