Ear surgery or otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion of the external ear. This includes what is commonly known as “ear pinning”; a procedure that results in less protruding ears. Surgeries within this category can also target other defects relating to large or misshapen ears, bringing balance and proportion to the face. Despite being such a small area, correcting a defect, whether it was present at birth or caused by injury, can make a huge impact on someone’s self-esteem.
Other factors that make you a good candidate
for ear surgery include:
- If you are healthy and do not have a life-threatening illness or medical condition that will impair healing
- If you are a non-smoker
- If you have a positive outlook and realistic goals when it comes to ear surgery
- Children elected for the procedure by parents, must have stable cartilage, no chronic ear infections, and the ability to communicate their feelings.
What are the steps of ear surgery?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Your doctor will administer medications for your comfort during the surgery based of what is right for you. This could be intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
Step 2 – The incision
A variety of different incisions can be made to create or increase the fold inside the rim of the ear, as well as to reduce the enlarged outer part of the ear. The incisions are generally made on the back so they remain concealed, but sometimes have to be done on the front of the ear. The internal structure of the ear is then used to secure the new cartilage in a more pleasing position.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
External stitches are used to close incisions, while the technique employed can vary case by case.
Step 4 – The Results
The results of ear surgery are almost immediate other than dressings that support the new shape of the ear during the early healing stages. Once removed, you can expect the ears to be permanently positioned closer to the head, unless the ear surgery was extensive or is being completed in stages. Surgical scars will either be hidden behind the ear or in the natural creases of the front of the ear.