Prominent ears are a frequent complaint and create a loss of self-esteem. This condition is easily corrected with surgery, however, by sculpting the ears and bringing them closer to the head, a condition sometimes called “ear shaping/pinning.” The goal of the procedure is to bring the ears closer to the head, reshaping large ears, or making the appearance of the ears more symmetrical. The procedure is most commonly performed on children who are subject to cruel teasing from their peers, but patients of any age can have otoplasty.
Candidacy for Otoplasty
If you are uncomfortable by even mildly distorted ears, you may be a candidate for ear reshaping surgery. Commonly performed on children, otoplasty can substantially increase the confidence of children with prominent ears. The procedure is recommended for children aged five and older, or whenever the ears have reached their full size. Children are usually good candidates for the procedure because their cartilage is more pliable than in adults, which makes it easier to shape. However, adults can also benefit from otoplasty, even though they have firmer ear cartilage, making the procedure more involved than it would be on a child.
Otoplastic surgery is performed under anesthesia and usually last approximately 45 minutes per ear. Treatment for ears that protrude uses specific techniques to create or increase the size of the antihelical fold, which is found inside the ear’s rim of the ear. The procedure will also decrease the size of the conchal cartilage. The incisions for otoplastic surgery are usually created on the back of the patient’s ear. When incisions are needed on the front surface of the ear, they are created within the folds of the ear’s to hide them.
Any major surgery has inherent risks such as bleeding, infection, and an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Specific risks of ear surgery include:
- Scarring which may be permanent, but likely still hidden behind the ears or within the inner creases of the ears.
- Asymmetry of the ears, which may result in the healing process.
- Loss of sensation in the ears due to the re-positioning, although these changes are rarely permanent.
- Problems with stitches which are used to secure the shape of the ear might necessitate revisional surgery.
Do you or your child have protruding ears and want to make a confidence-boosting change to your appearance? Call our West Medical Plastic Surgery offices today at (855) 690-0565!
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