Otoplasty (ear surgery)

What is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty, or surgery to change the shape of the ear. It is most commonly performed to correct the appearance of ears that are prominent or “stick out”, or to create more normal ear folds in people who are missing them.

Ear surgery is commonly done on children, in the age range of four to fourteen, as ear growth is nearly complete by age four. Completing ear surgery prior to age fourteen minimizes ridicule a child may endure. For those adults who did not have the opportunity to have their ears corrected in this age range, ear surgery can be perfomed on them as well.

individual results may vary

Where Your Ear Surgery Will Be Performed

Safety is always Dr. Weinrach’s number one priority. He only operates only in accredited surgery centers and hospitals. He has hospital priviledges for every procedure he performs. Otoplasty is almost always done as an outpatient procedure (you can go home the same day as the procedure).

Anesthesia for Ear Surgery or Otoplasty

For very young children, Dr. Weinrach may recommend general anesthesia. Being completely asleep throughout the entire procedure will allow Dr. Weinrach to be able to do the best job possible, and obtain the best possible result. For older children or adults, local anesthesia with a sedative is often used. You will be in a light sleep, and will not feel discomfort.

How Ear Surgery or Otoplasty is done

Depending on the problem, the time is takes to do ear surgery varies. Anywhere from one to three hours is about average. Very complex cases can take longer.

For the common problem of a prominent ear, or an ear that “sticks out”, an incision is made in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. Stitches are placed to reshape and sculpt the ear cartilage, which pulls the ear back closer to the head, reducing the prominent appearance. For situations when their is a very large amount of excess cartilage, the extra cartilage is removed before placing stitches to shape and pull back the ear. Excess skin is removed as well, and stitches are used to close the incision at the back of the ear.

In the majority of cases, otoplasty or ear surgery will leave only a very faint scar in the back of the ear. This scar fades with time, and because of its location, is not noticeable.

After Your Ear Surgery

Within several hours after surgery, adults and older children are up and around. If your child is very young, an overnight stay may be indicated while all of the effects of general anesthesia wear off.

A large bulky bandage is placed at the end of the surgery to protect the area. Mild discomfort or throbbing may be present; this is easily controlled with medication.

The bulky bandages are removed in about a week, and are replaced with a light headband. Usually there are no stitches to remove; they will dissolve in about a week.

Most adults can return to work after the dressings are removed. Children can return to school at this time as well. Playground activity should be restricted. It is a good idea to have your child’s teacher observe the child closely for a few weeks.

Your New and Improved Ears

The great majority of patients are thrilled with the results of ear surgery. Remember however, the goal is improvement, not perfection. Both ears even in a “normal” person never match perfectly. With this in mind, and if your expectations are realistic, you will be quite pleased with the results of your ear surgery.

To schedule a personal otoplasty consultation with Dr. Weinrach call (480)634-6014, email us at info@drweinrach.com or click here