Ear surgery – also known as otoplasty – can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. It can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth, or it can treat misshapen ears caused by injury. Ear surgery creates a natural shape, while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have profound benefits to appearance and self-esteem
Otoplasty is most commonly performed to correct protruding ears. Although otoplasty does not affect hearing, it can provide great psychological benefits. Young children, who are teased by their classmates about their ears, especially benefit from this procedure. Many adults have otoplasty, as they may be self-conscious about the fact their ears protrude. This prevents many females from pulling their hair back in a ponytail or wearing other hairstyles. Men of course find it much harder to cover their ears. Otoplasty is often performed on children around the age of 5 or 6. Unlike other facial features, the ear has reached its adult size and is almost fully formed by then. The ear cartilage is soft and malleable during childhood, making the surgery easier to perform. If done at a young age, otoplasty can allow children with larger or misshapen ears to avoid traumatic teasing by their peers. In addition to its cosmetic applications, ear surgery can also help reconstruct ears that have been injured in an accident. Similarly, earlobe surgery can be performed to repair earlobes that are torn due to trauma or from wearing heavy earrings.
Dr. Webster performs otoplasty with an incision that is limited to the natural crease behind the ear in a place that is not seen. The procedure takes approximately 1 hour for each ear but varies depending on the overall ear deformity. Most people who have protruding ears lack what is known as an antihelical fold at the top of the ear. The ear is much more aesthetically pleasing when the antihelical fold is created.
Earlobe surgery is performed to repair ear lobes that have been torn by earrings or trauma, or that have been intentionally stretched through the body piercing practice known as gauging. Earlobe surgery is an outpatient procedure done with local anesthesia. It takes about one hour, although your time in surgery will depend on the extent of the procedure. Your surgeon cuts away the skin lining the tear or piercing tract, removes excess tissue (if necessary) and sutures the lobe back together. This usually results in a smaller earlobe.
Discomfort immediately following ear surgery is normal and can be controlled with pain medication. A bandage is placed over the ears for 1 night. There may be an itchy feeling under bandages. It is essential that bandages remain intact and are not removed, for any reason. Children can return to school in 1-2 weeks and adults return to work in 3 to 5 days. Usually there is some bruising associated with otoplasty and the ears will be tender after the procedure. The patient can shower and wash their hair the morning after surgery. All of the stitches behind the ear dissolve so no suture removal is required. Full activity is permissible by 3 weeks.
Earlobe surgery recovery
You will not need bandages on your ear lobes, but you will be asked to apply antibiotic ointment to the incisions to help prevent infection. Your stitches will be removed after the swelling has gone down. This typically occurs within one week.
GOALSImprove the shape, contour, or size of the ears.
ANESTHESIALocal anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia in operating room.
LENGTH OF PROCEDURE1-2 hours
AFTER PROCEDUREBandage placed over the ears. Sutures are removed in 5-7 days
RECOVERYFull activity is permissible by 3 weeks.