Otoplasty – San Diego
Otoplasty is usually performed to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. Ear surgery is often performed on children between the ages of four and 14, although adults ask for the procedure as well. Besides protruding ears, there are a variety of other ear problems that can be helped with surgery. These include “lop ear”, when the tip seems to fold down and forward; “cupped ear”, which is usually a very small ear; and “shell ear”, when the curve in the outer rim as well as the natural folds and creases are missing. Surgery can also improve large, stretched or torn ear lobes or lobes with large creases and wrinkles.
A consultation with your Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa surgeon will evaluate your particular condition and recommend the most effective technique.
What to Expect
Otoplasty is typically performed in an outpatient surgical facility under local anesthesia and sedation. However, for school age children, general anesthesia is recommended.
The procedure usually takes about two hours, although more complicated procedures may take longer. With one or more common techniques, your surgeon will make a small incision in the back of the ear and a thin strip of skin is removed. The ear cartilage is then sculpted and folded back toward the head to allow the ear to lie flatter against the head and appear normal. The ear cartilage is secured in place with sutures. Occasionally, your surgeon will have to remove a piece of cartilage to provide a more natural-looking fold when the surgery is complete.
The patient’s head is wrapped in a bandage immediately following surgery to promote the best molding and healing. After a few days this is replaced with a lighter dressing similar to a headband.
Any activity in which the ear might be bent should be avoided for a month or so. Most adults can go back to work about five days after surgery. Children can go back to school after seven days or so, if they’re careful about playground activity. Parents may want to ask your child’s teacher to keep an eye on the child for a few weeks.