Unfortunately "kids can be cruel", young children,
teens and adults are often teased or whispered about
regarding their prominent ears. Thankfully this
procedure can be relatively simple and inexpensive.
These procedures are often carried out in the younger
years, healed and forgotten about. Truly such a
generally "simple" procedure can make the world of a
difference in self esteem and social or academic
maturity or advancement
What Is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty is surgery designed to pin the ears closer to
the head or lessen the appearance of larger than average
ears. It is most commonly performed on children and
teens. However, many young adults seek Otoplasty in
their life after earning enough to pay for the surgery
Some Otoplasties involve removing a sliver of cartilage
from the ear and suturing the cartilage back together
allowing it to fuse together either closer to the head
or of a smaller size.
Ear pinning is not the only complaint that can be
resolved by Otoplasty. This procedure can correct ears
that have congenital deformities as well as those caused
by trauma or habits of "ear pulling". Many toddlers tend
to pull on their ears during the teething stage and this
habit may remain throughout their younger years well
after their teeth have emerged. Ear pulling or
congenital deformities can leave children with stretched
earlobes (which can be corrected with a slight snip of
the excess skin). As well as the uncurling of the
natural folds and the folding over of the top of the
Are You a Candidate for Otoplasty?
First and foremost, an individual must be in good
health, not have any active diseases or pre-existing
medical conditions and must have realistic expectations
of the outcome of their surgery. Communication is
crucial in reaching one's goals. You must be able to
voice your desires to your surgeon if he/she is to
understand what your desired results are. Discuss you
goals with your surgeon so that you may reach an
understanding with what can realistically be achieved.
Risks & Complications of Otoplasty
Unfortunately, All surgery has risks and complications.
With otoplasty, these include allergic reaction to the
anesthetic used and infection. There is the chance of
asymmetry, dissatisfaction, hematoma, seroma, infection,
and general dissatisfaction.
Numbness is possible, it usually subsides within the
first few weeks but it may become a permanent issue.
Excess scar tissue is possible as well, but is usually
rare. The possibility of asymmetry can be corrected
easily so this should not worry you extensively but
should be considered.
Ear surgery usually takes about two to three hours,
although complicated procedures may take longer. The
technique will depend on the problem.
With one of the more common techniques, the surgeon
makes a small incision in the back of the ear to expose
the ear cartilage. He or she will then sculpt the
cartilage and bend it back toward the head.
Non-removable stitches may be used to help maintain the
new shape. Occasionally, the surgeon will remove a
larger piece of cartilage to provide a more
natural-looking fold when the surgery is complete.
Another technique involves a similar incision in the
back of the ear. Skin is removed and stitches are used
to fold the cartilage back on itself to reshape the ear
without removing cartilage.
In most cases, ear surgery will leave a faint scar in
the back of the ear that will fade with time. Even when
only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually
performed on both ears for a better balance.