Surgery for protruding ears can have a great benefit to the patient. Children are the most likely candidates for otoplasty to avoid the psychological impact of teasing in grade school. Even if the ears are only mildly distorted, decreased self-esteem and poor adaptation to school may occur. However, this surgery can be performed at any age after the ears have reached full size, around five to six years of age. Successful otoplasty shapes the ears to be in proportion to the size and shape of the face and head.
Adults may also benefit from this procedure, which may improve self-confidence and esteem. Often, adults choose this surgery in conjunction with other facial plastic surgical procedures. Not only is it possible to “pin back” ears, but ears can also be reshaped or made more symmetric. Adult candidates for otoplasty should understand that the firmer cartilage of fully developed ears may not have the same reshaping capacity as in children.
During the consultation, Dr. Meier will examine the external appearance and structure of the ears and discuss possibilities for correction. Surgery may be recommended on both ears, even if only one ear needs “pinning back,” in order to gain better symmetry and balance. Dr. Meier will conduct a thorough medical history and explain the type of anesthesia needed as well as answer any questions you may have.
About The Surgery
Surgery begins with an incision behind the ear, in the natural fold where the ear is joined to the head. Dr. Meier will remove the necessary amount cartilage and skin to achieve the desired effect. Dr. Meier then shapes the cartilage into a more desirable form and pins the cartilage back with sutures to create a permanent effect. This procedure usually requires approximately two hours and is performed under sedation or general anesthesia.
After The Surgery
Soft dressings will be applied to the ears and will remain for 4 days. Most patients experience some mild discomfort. It is important to sleep in a fashion that will not disturb the operated area. Dr. Meier also recommends headbands to hold the ears in the desired position for two to four weeks after the surgery. He will give you detailed instructions regarding care after the surgery.
After healing, there will be a thin white scar behind the ear. This scar is in a natural crease behind the ear and is well hidden. Follow-up care is important so Dr. Meier can monitor the healing process.
If you have any more questions about otoplasty please contact our office to set up a consultation.