Prominent ears that stick out are very common. Many children suffer from teasing due to this issue, and many adults are self-conscious about it. For that reason, ear reshaping surgery or otoplasty is a powerful procedure that can make a significant difference in the patient’s life.
Dramatic improvements in ear shape and symmetry are possible with this surgery*. Many parents find that a good time to see a physician about corrective ear surgery is before the child is old enough to be self-conscious. Others prefer to wait until the child notices an issue before seeking a consultation.
We offer highly customized ear reshaping surgeries in both adults and children. Every patient is different, and we design a surgical plan that will provide the best possible result.
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Are you or your child a candidate for Ear Reshaping Surgery?
If you or your child is unhappy with prominent ears, ear reshaping surgery is probably a good option. Children are usually good candidates for ear surgery at five years of age.
Only a consultation and examination in our office can determine if otoplasty is recommended, however. In your consultation, we will perform a thorough examination and determine how to best treat your individual areas of concern.
What happens during Otoplasty?
Incisions are placed inconspicuously behind the ears. A combination of special sutures is used to create the proper fold in the ears and hold them in their new position closer to the side of the head.
A small amount of cartilage may also need to be removed to correct prominent ears. Cartilage may be removed from one area and grafted to another in order to create a pleasing ear shape. Cartilage scoring techniques may also be used to define where the ear bends. We prefer not to use the term “ear pinning,” because the procedure has more steps than simply fixating the ears to the head.
In adults, otoplasty can often be performed using a local anesthetic and light sedation. In children, general anesthesia is usually required.
What is involved in Ear Reshaping recovery?
Most patients need to take 1-2 weeks off from school or work after ear surgery. For the first 24 hours, there will be a bandage on your head, which is removed the next day. After that, a protective headband is worn, but it is inconspicuous and very useful during the recovery period. You should be back to most activities by 3 weeeks, but intensive physical activities or sports should be avoided for 6-8 weeks to prevent any injury to the ears.
Ear surgery is very effective, and you will be able to see the new contour of your ears immediately. You will not see the final result, however, until 3-4 weeks when swelling has resolved. Bruising and some minor pain are to be expected after surgery. We can provide pain medications to manage discomfort.
As you recover, you will notice that scars are very inconspicuous after this procedure. The final goal is an ear that has natural folds and contours, with normal projection from the head (not a pulled in appearance).
We will monitor your (or your child’s) progress carefully to make sure you are healing properly and are happy with your results.
Contact us today for an Ear Reshaping consultation in Bellevue, Washington.
*Individual results and patient experience may vary.