Who Is a Good Candidate?
Otoplasty is a procedure to alter the shape of your ears, as well as decrease the angle at which they project from your head. This surgery is ideal for those who have prominent ears or are self-conscious about how visible or disproportionate their ears are. Often children will undergo this procedure if they receive a lot of teasing from their peers about their ear shape or size.
Otoplasty can consist of anything from a few sutures to reshape or reposition the cartilage and soft tissue of your ears, to more extensive work with the cartilage of your ears. It can include an ear lobe reduction as well. It is usually done through an incision at the back of your ear in the groove where the ear connects with the head, and when healed, is fairly hidden from view. The procedure is usually done under general anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center, and take approximately an hour.
Otoplasty is relatively well tolerated in terms of pain. After surgery, your ears and head are wrapped in gauze and an ACE wrap, and sometimes there are bolsters sutured around your incisions to ensure your incisions and skin heal well without developing blood or fluid collections. You will be seen in clinic within 1-3 days after the surgery to have your dressings taken off, and at that point you can shower. Your incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures and you need to take care of them with antibiotic ointment for 1-2 weeks. Initially your ears may seem "over-corrected" and very flat to your head, but over time, the tissues will tend to relax some and your ears will reshape over the first 3 months after surgery. Additionally, to prevent accidentally bumping your ear and tearing the sutures holding your ears back, you will need to wear a headband or some sort of protection to keep your ears from being accidentally bent backwards for 6-8 weeks after surgery. If contact sports or activities cannot be avoided, we usually have patients wear a headband during these activities to protect the ears from being suddenly bend backwards for up to 3 months after surgery.