Ear Surgery / Otoplasty

Prominent or stuck-out ears can be a source of peer ridicule and teasing both for adults and children. Prominauris (the medical term for protruding ears) appears in about 1-2% of the population, and is thought to be a combination of genetics and ear positioning in the womb and for several months after birth. The two main reasons for excessively prominent ears are excessive height of the concha (the seashell-shaped cartilage just behind the ear canal) and poor formation/ or absence of the antihelical fold (the Y-shaped part of the upper ear cartilage). These conditions result in the ear sitting in an overly outward position, and the upper part of the ear facing forward instead of back.

While protruding or misshapen ears may be corrected with non-surgical newborn correction, surgical correction is required for older children and adults. Dr. Fishman performs otoplasty surgery is performed to correct abnormally protruding or misshapen ears. Otoplasty commonly involves the shaping of the ear cartilage and tucking the ear closer to a more aesthetically pleasing position with the head.

BENEFITS OF OTOPLASTY SURGERY

  • Otoplasty cosmetic surgery corrects overly protruding ears
  • Ear shaping and repositioning are commonly combined during otoplasty
  • Otoplasty repositions the ears closer to the head
  • Otoplasty is a short and low-risk surgical procedure
  • Otoplasty is associated with a short downtime and little recovery
  • Otoplasty is used to correct the deforming effects of injury and trauma
  • Otoplasty may improve one’s self-esteem

OTOPLASTY SURGERY: TREATMENT DETAILS

Adult patients may do well to have otoplasty surgery with local anesthesia (injection of numbing medicine) or general anesthesia (going to sleep with the help of an Anesthesiologist). Most children do best to have general anesthesia for otoplasty surgery.

Dr. Fishman places the incisions for otoplasty in the natural crease behind the ear, to hide the resulting scars. She works through these incisions to sculpt and reshape the cartilage of the ears, bring the ears closer to the head, and reposition the soft tissues of the earlobes as needed. Upon completion of surgery, Dr. Fishman closes the behind-the-ear incisions with sutures and places a compressive headwrap over the ears. This dressing is removed the day after surgery, and a tennis headband-type dressing is then over the ears for approximately 1 week.

AFTER OTOPLASTY SURGERY

After surgery, you should expect the following symptoms and adhere to these instructions:

  1. Expect a mild to moderate amount of swelling, numbness and paleness
  2. Discomfort is common and should be wellmanaged with cool compresses and oral pain medication
  3. Incision sites may be irritated for several days
  4. Rest with your head elevated for the first week after surgery
  5. Limit physical activity will be limited until you are well healed or cleared by Dr. Fishman
  6. Visible healing takes place over a few days while deep healing may take several weeks. Allow for several months of healing prior to
  7. evaluating the final results of surgery.

SIDE EFFECTS AND RISKS OF OTOPLASTY SURGERY

Most common side effects include temporary swelling, bruising, and discomfort of the ears. Risks of otoplasty surgery are rare, and include infection, hematoma (blood collection under the skin), and need for revision.

Frequently Asked Questions

IS OTOPLASTY SURGERY RIGHT FOR ME OR MY CHILD?

Dr. Fishman most commonly performs on adults and children aged 5 years and older. Adult patients interested in otoplasty surgery should be in good health and have realistic expectations. Children should also be in good health, and have achieved at least 85% of the ear growth–a metric commonly found in kids aged 3 years and older.

HOW LONG DOES OTOPLASTY SURGERY TAKE?

Dr. Fishman typically performs both-sided or bilateral otoplasty over the course of 2-2.5 hours, though your individual anatomy and aesthetic needs may change the surgery duration.

DOES OTOPLASTY SURGERY LEAVE SCARS?

Any surgical incision creates a scar, and scars do not disappear (though they flatten and fade in color over time). Dr. Fishman purposely hides her incisions in the crease behind the ear, with the healed scar being essentially imperceptible.

HOW MUCH DOES OTOPLASTY SURGERY HURT?

Otoplasty surgery is associated with a mild-moderate degree of discomfort, which is usually very well-controlled with oral pain medications and cool compresses. Most of Dr. Fishman’s patients report no longer requiring pain medication 2-3 days after surgery.

HOW MUCH DOWNTIME IS INVOLVED AFTER OTOPLASTY SURGERY?

Depending on anesthesia type, Dr. Fishman’s patients are able to get up and move about immediately or in a few hours after surgery. Most patients return to work or school approximately 1 week after surgery.

WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR OTOPLASTY SURGERY?

Otoplasty surgery is a cosmetic procedure not typically covered by health insurance. Please check with your provider for correct information about your coverage. At Aviva Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics, we offer financing that will pay for it. Ask about financing after your consult with Dr. Fishman.