The ears may be on either side of your head, but they contribute a lot toward the way you look. Sometimes, the ears can protrude from the head in a way that detracts from your appearance. Otoplasty – or ‘ear pinning’ – is a cosmetic surgical procedure used to reshape and reform the ears in a way that brings balance to the face and enhances a patient’s appearance. It does not affect one’s hearing.
There are many reasons why a person might benefit from otoplasty. Most often, it is to correct misshapen or protruding ears that are present at birth and become more prominent as a child grows and develops into an adult. However, patients also visit our Valparaiso office from time to time to address disfigurement caused by a physical trauma. Regardless of the reason for the surgery, Dr. Bose’s goal is to create or restore a natural-looking and aesthetically appealing shape that is proportionate to the face. Sometimes, the most dramatic improvements come from the seemingly smallest changes.
Is Otoplasty Right For You?
Otoplasty is not right for everyone, and it is a decision that must be made between you and your surgeon. However, you may wish to consider ear surgery if you or your child is bothered by:
- Protruding or prominent ears
- Large ears (macrotia)
- The results of a previous otoplasty
You or your child will need to visit with Dr. Bose for a personal consultation to determine if you could be a candidate for this procedure. The consultation will include a review of personal medical history, as well as an examination of the targeted treatment area. Children undergoing otoplasty should be at least school age – the time when the cartilage is strong and sufficient enough to withstand an ear pinning surgery. However, timing is important when making the decision to pin the ears, since younger cartilage is easily molded into an ideal shape. Likewise, otoplasty at a young age can help prevent social difficulties that might otherwise lead to psychological damage.
Dr. Bose may also discuss your goals for treatment to ensure your expectations are reasonable and consistent. This is not a surgery that should be performed to look like someone else or meet the expectations or wishes of another person. Instead, otoplasty should be something you want for yourself.
What To Expect
Otoplasty is an outpatient procedure for most patients and typically requires only one to two hours to complete. Dr. Bose will recommend either general anesthesia or IV sedation for the surgery, ensuring you or your child is relaxed and comfortable for the duration of the procedure.
Dr. Bose will make a small incision in the area where the ear joins the head. This inconspicuous area makes it possible to hide scarring from the incision. Cartilage and skin may be removed until the ear is appropriately sized. Finally, the remaining cartilage will be shaped and the incision stitched closed.
When you or your child awakens, the ears will be wrapped with bandages. It is important to leave bandages as they are, adjust your sleeping position, and return for follow-up visits according to the instructions Dr. Bose provides. Failure to follow those instructions could adversely affect long term outcome.
You are likely to notice improvements nearly immediately following surgery, though results will continue to improve over time. Contact our office if you notice any complications or need help managing pain. Though it is normal to experience some mild discomfort, this is often relived using pain medications.
Though the appearance of the ears will change with age, the results of an ear surgery can last a lifetime. If you think it’s time to address your prominent ears, contact our office to schedule your consultation. We look forward to serving you soon.