Otoplasty: The Ear Procedure You’ve Been Searching For

Eyes may be the window to the soul, but your ears are a critical part of the outline of your head, and the shape and position of your ears affects the overall appearance of your face. Some people have ears that protrude too much or are misshapen and as a result compromise their facial aesthetic. To fix this, the solution is otoplasty.

What Is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is the technical term for surgery of the external ears, or pinnae. You may want to alter the appearance of your ears for purely cosmetic reasons, to address congenital defects, or to get post-trauma reconstruction. Sometimes, a misshapen appearance of the ears can also happen due to medical conditions like hemifacial microsomia or Treacher Collins syndrome.

One of the most common otoplasty procedures is fixing protruding ears. This is done by removing the excess concha and pulling the ears closer to the head. Another very common condition is “constricted ears,” where the ears look like they have been pressed top to bottom and thus have reduced circumference. In this case, they must be “stretched out” through surgical methods.

What Can I Expect from an Otoplasty Procedure?

Otoplasty surgery is done with either general or local anesthesia. Surgeons can correct deformities and defects by repositioning and reshaping the ear and by surgically altering the cartilage of the ear.

The end result of otoplasty is ears that look natural, proportionate, and symmetrical. The ears shouldn’t appear as if they have had surgery done on them, and they should appear that way from the front, side, and rear perspectives.

Some individuals are very self-conscious about their appearance. Corrective otoplasty can help their self-image issues and boost their morale and self-confidence.

Who Is Eligible for an Otoplasty?

Any healthy individual without serious medical conditions may have otoplasty surgery, provided the reason is valid. You will have to discuss beforehand with your doctor any conditions that may affect the surgery, like allergies to certain medicines or the effect of any previous surgeries.

To be satisfied with the results of the surgery, you must first have extensive discussions with your doctor about your expectations and have a realistic picture of what to expect after the procedure. Some clinics will even offer you computer simulations of what you might look like after the surgery.

Children will have to be at least five to six years old to get this procedure, since that’s the age when the cartilage becomes stable enough for these procedures to be safely done. However, in some cases, children younger than age five will have to get an otoplasty done to prevent the further growth of a deformed ear.

Recovery After Otoplasty

After your surgery, you might experience pain, discomfort, and itching under the bandages as the scars heal. These can be dealt with painkillers. Any post-surgical marks will be thin and are usually located under the natural fold of the ear, making them barely visible. If you have a habit of sleeping on your side, then you may have to sleep in another position until your ears heal.

Take care of your ears during your healing period. Wear your bandages, take your medications, and follow the doctor’s instructions to ensure a shorter recovery process with a lower chance of complications.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?

Are you ready to meet with an experienced medical professional for an otoplasty consultation? If so, contact the office of double-board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Bared. Dr. Bared will be available to guide you through the process.

Author Info

Dr. Anthony Bared

Dr. Anthony Bared, MD, FACS is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, and hair restoration. You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Bared by calling 800-943-7295.

Out of town? A virtual, web-based consultation can be scheduled. Visit our Out of Town Patients section.