Ear Surgery

Otoplasty – Ear Surgery

Ear surgery, also called “otoplasty,” can correct protruding ears and improve the shape, position, and proportion of the ears. Ear surgery can correct defects that are apparent at birth or that become apparent over time. Ear surgery can also correct misshapen ears caused by injury, and it can reduce the size of overly large ears (macrotia). Ideal candidates for ear surgery have ear cartilage that is stable enough for correction.

Ear Surgery Procedure

The particular technique used for your otoplasty will depend on the specific corrections you desire. To correct protruding ears, incisions are typically made on the back surface of the ears, and the cartilage is arranged to be closer to the head. In cases where incisions need to be made on the front of the ears, (such as when ears need to be reduced in size or are protruding at the middle third of the ear), the incisions will be inconspicuously placed within the folds of the ears. Non-removable, internal sutures are used to secure the cartilage in place.

Recovery and Results from Ear Surgery

Once the surgery is complete, dressings will be applied to help the ears adapt to their new shape. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding how to care for your dressings. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and possibly care for you for the first 24 hours. With the ears positioned closer to the head, scars are well-hidden, and scars on the front of the ears will be well-hidden within the folds. You should be able to resume normal activities after about 10 days. Because ear surgery is a highly individualized procedure, results will vary from patient to patient but are typically long lasting.

Risks and Side Effects from Ear Surgery

As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks involved with ear surgery. These include:

  • Bleeding
  • Asymmetry
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Contour irregularities
  • Scarring
  • Pain