What is Prominent Ear Correction Surgery (Otoplasty)?
Otoplasty is an aesthetic procedure that is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears.
Who are the Ideal Candidates?
Typically the procedure is performed in children, after the age of 5, and can be performed in people of any age. Note: Ears are almost fully grown by age of five, and the earlier the surgery is complete the less teasing and
ridicule the child will have to endure. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older age.
Dr. Stamatiou recommends that parents stay alert to their child's feelings about protruding ears; don't insist on the surgery until your child wants the change. Children who feel uncomfortable about their ears and want the
surgery are generally more cooperative during the process and happier with the outcome. Occasionally there are patients that need the correction on only one ear.
About the Procedure
Otoplasty is done as an outpatient procedure. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia with or without IV sedation for adults; however general anesthesia is used in some children and under certain circumstances in adults. The advantage of performing the procedure under local anesthesia is that the patient can judge the final position of the ears with the surgeon and approve the result before the final skin closure and placing of the ear dressings. The incisions are placed behind the ear and the small resulting scar is well hidden and will fade in time.
Most patients, young and old alike, are thrilled with the results of ear surgery. But keep in mind, the goal is improvement, not perfection.
What is Recovery Like?
Adults and children are usually up and around within a few hours of surgery. The patient's head will be wrapped in a bulky bandage immediately following surgery to promote the best molding and healing. The ears may throb or ache little for a few days, but this can be relieved by medication.
Within a few days, the bulky bandages will be replaced by a headband that will be worn at night to protect the position of the ears while asleep.
Any activity in which the ear might be bent should be avoided for a month or so. For most adults, this is a "weekend procedure" (i.e. do it on Friday and return to work on Monday). Children and go back to school after five to seven days, limiting playground activity.