- Correction of prominent, protruding ears
- Addresses the position and shape of the ear
- Correction of ear deformities that did not improve since birth
- Improves ear proportions
- Improves a deformity as a result of an injury
- Typically the procedure is done at 6 years of age and older
- Secondary Otoplasty revises the unsatisfactory results of a prior surgery
In today’s society, protruding or large ears are seen as less-than-attractive. Children with this deformity can end up being the target for incessant teasing by bullies on the playground. Being the subject of mockery often adversely affects a child’s self-esteem. However, having a child’s ears set back / pinned through this procedure, can help prevent future ridicule.
The Otoplasty provides more of the natural shape and proportion of the ears. It also gives an aesthetic balance to the face. Setting the ears into a more normal position typically helps a person to be less self-conscious while improving self-confidence.
Adults who undergo Otoplasty often make the comment that they wished their parents had done this for them when they were younger. Usually, this is because of the teasing experienced as children. They will also comment that there was no problem getting braces, but their big ears were not as important to their parents.
Then there are those who had a previous Otoplasty with unsatisfactory results. What do they do? The Secondary Otoplasty corrects a deformity that may be even worse than their original abnormality.
Candidates for the Procedure
- Someone with prominent / protruding ears
- Someone with oddly positioned ears
- Someone with larger or irregularly small ears
- Ear deformity as a result of injury
- A patient 6 years of age or older
- Able to express the desire to have surgery
- Good cooperation
- Follows directions
- Good physical health
- Dissatisfaction with prior surgery of the ear
Many will have this procedure done as adults, finally addressing something that has bothered them for years. Typically, the procedure is done at six years of age and older. At this time, the child’s ears are about 85% of adult size.
Details of procedure
Markings are made before the surgery to identify the natural landmarks of the ear. The procedure is typically done under general anesthesia. The approach is from behind the ear in a well-hidden crease. Additional skin may be removed to help with the positioning of the ear. The natural folds of the ear are made and are held in position with sutures. The ears are rotated back and secured with additional sutures if the ear needs further correction of the protrusion.
A well-padded dressing is placed to protect the ears in their new position for the next week. When the dressing is removed there is minimal swelling and the patient is able to see the new position of the ears.
When someone has already had an Otoplasty and they are displeased with the results, the Secondary Otoplasty will help to correct the new defect; essentially, redoing the surgery. This procedure may require additional techniques to regain the normal anatomic structures of the ear. The goal with the surgery is to have a more normal or anatomic-looking ear. Dr. Fairbanks will be able to give the patient a better idea as to what to expect, once he is able to evaluate the acquired deformity.
After an Otoplasty there will be some discomfort initially; this lessens each day. Pain medications are helpful.
The overall recovery of an Otoplasty depends on the patient’s health. For the first week of recovery the head-dressing will stay in place to protect the ears and hold the new shape. When the dressing is taken off, the ears will be set in their new position.
Strenuous activities, exercise and sports are discouraged for the first 6 weeks to allow the healing tissues to become stronger. Initially, the well-hidden scars will be red, but will fade over the next year.
Results generally last a lifetime.
Call Fairbanks Plastic Surgery at (801) 951-8099 today to schedule an Otoplasty consultation.
Ear Reconstruction for Trauma
Ear Reconstruction for Cancer
Ear Molding / Ear Well in Infancy