Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)
While it can be embarrassing to have unusual looking or extra large ears, most people just cover them up and do not realize that they have the option of otoplasty or ear surgery. This procedure is a simple process to alter the appearance of the ear by folding the cartilage into a different position.
This is one of the few procedures that is performed successfully on children as young as four. It is also more popular with men than with women since females are more able to disguise the issue with longer hair.
Parents with young children may want to consider the procedure before they start school to prevent the issues that can arise when other children make fun of them and damage their self esteem.
Otoplasty treats many problems and deformities of the ear. Some of these include the following:
- Big ears, also called macrotia
- A cup or lop ear, which is constricted
- An ear that protrudes away from the head
- Stahl’s ear deformity also known as pointed ear or Spock’s ear
- Telephone ear
- Deformities of the earlobe
Surgery can improve one or both ears as needed. Ears that protrude are the most common reason for surgery. A surgeon pins the ears closer to the head by removing cartilage and bending the ear towards the head and stitching it in place. The surgery does not actually change the size of the ear in most cases, but it alters the position.
The procedure usually lasts about two or three hours with general anesthesia, but some types of otoplasty take longer, such as reducing the size of the ears. Patients are usually required to be off from work or school for a week while other activities are restricted for up to a month. The surgeon applies a dressing that must be worn for two weeks.
If you or your child has unusual looking ears that are a source of ridicule, you can improve the look with the right procedure. Talk to a cosmetic surgeon to learn more about the benefits of otoplasty.