What is Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)?
Ear surgery, or Otoplasty, is an option for children or adults who want to set prominent ears closer to the head or reduce the size of overly large ears. It can also help with issues such as lop, cupped, or shell ear; large or stretched earlobes, or lobes with unsightly creases and wrinkles. Defects in the ear structure due to a natural defect or injury can also be corrected with this type of surgery.
Otoplasty can create a more natural shape to the ear, which in turn can bring better balance and proportion to the entire face. For some people, correcting even small problems or deformities can have significant benefits on self-esteem. Otoplasty can be done on one ear or both, depending on your particular needs or what is being corrected. Children as young as five years old may be candidates for Otoplasty, or even earlier if the cartilage in the ear is already stable and therefore ready for a surgical procedure.
For the most part, ear surgeries can take two to three hours. They can be done in a hospital or right in our San Antonio surgical center. General anesthesia is needed for certain kinds of Otoplasty, while other kinds can be done with the aid of a simple local anesthetic.
A benefit of ear surgery is that results are visible almost immediately — particularly in the case of correcting protruding ears — once any bandages and dressings to help maintain the new shape of the ear are removed. Additionally, given the placement of the ear on the head, there is virtually no visible scarring. Surgical or corrective scars can be hidden behind the ear or within the creases of the ear. More extensive Otoplasty or ear reconstruction may take slightly longer for full results to be seen.
Depending on the type of Otoplasty performed, there may be post-operative instructions that you will need to follow. Taking care of the ear properly as it heals and fully forms to its new shape is important, and there may be medications to help healing. Medications could be oral or topical and are used to reduce any risk of infection and also to aid the healing process. Follow-ups with your plastic surgeon are also very important in this kind of surgery.
Determining whether you or your child is a good candidate for Otoplasty is something that you will discuss with your plastic surgeon here in our office. Depending on the problem you are dealing with and what kind of surgery will be necessary to correct it, there may be preparations needed or special instructions that you will have to follow before the procedure is performed. If you are considering ear surgery for any reason, call our office today. We will help answer your questions and determine what the best option is for you or your child.