Otoplasty is a procedure designed to achieve more normal looking ears, to pin back protruding ears closer to the head or reduce the size of overly large ears.
This procedure is mostly commonly performed on younger individuals to avoid being teased by others but many adults seek these improvements as well. The Otoplasty procedure varies with each patient and their degree of ear deformity.
The operation usually takes about two hours and is performed in an outpatient setting under general anesthesia, or local anesthesia with sedation. During the operation, an incision is made behind the ear to hide any obvious marks of surgical intervention. Multiple, strategically placed sutures are positioned to shape the cartilage into normal folds, which were missing pre-operatively. The cartilage is then reshaped using techniques of scoring, suturing, limited removal or combinations of the three.
The reshaped framework is then repositioned to achieve the best balance with the opposite side and to reduce excessive projection. The skin is redraped, any excess skin is removed and the incision behind the ear is closed.
To reduce the swelling or collection of fluid beneath the skin, you’ll have a dressing put on your head to put gentle pressure on your ears and maintain their new position.
After about two or three days, the dressing will be removed and you will be asked to wear an elastic band at night to protect your ears from accidentally being pulled while you sleep. Sutures will require removal in 7 to 10 days. You’ll be able to wash your hair as soon as your head dressing is removed on the second or third day after surgery.
Most patients experience very little pain following their procedure. There will be slight discomfort or soreness— mostly when you bump or move your ears.
This will be for about a week or two. You’ll notice some swelling in the ears for approximately two to three weeks following your surgery. Most bruising will resolve in the first week or two. During this time, you can cover your ears with your hair.