Otoplasty is not usually a recognized term outside the world of cosmetic surgery. This cosmetic ear surgery is often known as “pinning back” the ears. Otoplasty to correct protruding ears can improve the shape, position, or proportion of the ear. It can also correct defects in the ear structure due to injury or trauma.
What Causes Protruding Ears?
Protruding ears occur for many reasons and affects around five percent of the general population. Some attribute it to genetics, but most often, it happens randomly. Protruding ears occur by either the overdevelopment or underdevelopment of ear cartilage. It could also be the result of an injury to the ears.
Some ear deformities are self-correcting in babies, but if an external ear deformity has not self-corrected a week after birth, either Otoplasty or a non-surgical correction may needed.
Why Choose Otoplasty?
The correction of even minor deformities can have profound beneﬁts to a person’s appearance and self-esteem. When the ears are too prominent, they can dominate a person’s entire appearance. Some ears protrude out at the sides too much, and others are just too large. Many children who have larger ears get teased because of their size or shape. This can lead to issues with self-esteem. Even adults with protruding ears can feel embarrassed to the point where it affects their everyday lives.
If protruding or disﬁgured ears bother you or your child, you may want to consider this procedure.
Procedure & Recovery
During the initial consultation, your doctor will answer all questions and discuss what to expect during the procedure and recovery. Most Otoplasties are performed in the surgeon’s office or an outpatient facility.
The actual surgery will last about two to three hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure for your particular case. Adults usually go home the same day, although with children, the doctor may prefer they stay in the hospital for one night. If you are undergoing a more complex procedure as an adult, you also may be required to stay in the hospital overnight.
For adults, the surgeon will probably use a local anesthesia with a sedative. Children will likely receive general anesthesia to put them to sleep, ensuring they cannot move around during the operation.
The incision is made behind the ear and will leave a thin scar, but it will be hidden. The scar will fade over time and in most cases becomes barely noticeable.
Bandages will stay over the ears for several days after surgery. After removing the bandages, a patient will wear a loose but supportive headband over the ears at night. This will help remove tension from the ears and prevent the ears from being pulled forward if the patient moves while sleeping.
Patients should plan to stay home for at least one week after the surgery. Regular activity and exercise can restart within two weeks. Activities that could cause trauma or injury to the ears during the recovery period should be avoided. It is crucial to avoid physical contact sports, such as judo, rugby, or football, for at least three months. Patients can resume swimming after about eight weeks if healed.
Numbness and mild bruising may last a few weeks after the procedure. The ears may also feel stiff for several months. Soreness, particularly at night, can last for a few months.
For best results, schedule the Otoplasty when the ears reach their full size, and the cartilage is completely formed. This happens typically around five years of age. For children with severely protruding ears, many recommend having the surgery at an early age before they are subjected to psychological stress related to the condition. However, it is never too late to make a change, and many adults also undergo this surgery.
Regardless of the reason for considering Otoplasty, the procedure has an exceedingly high rate of patient satisfaction.
If you are considering Otoplasty, contact us today or call 615-538-0399 to speak with a member of our helpful staff. Our team will answer all of your questions and help you make the most informed decision possible.