The 10th most common cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S. is one you might never have heard of: otoplasty. Otoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects size, shape, and/or placement issues of the ear.
Most of our otoplasty patients come to us with a history of dissatisfaction with their ears that dates back to childhood. Protruding, large, uneven, or misshapen ears can be embarrassing to adults and children alike, and may result in teasing or bullying for school-age children.
The good news is, we can help. Otoplasty, when performed by a qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon, is dramatically transformative, requires little downtime, and is well-tolerated.
Here are five facts about otoplasty:
It’s not just for adults. While we frequently do this procedure on adults, children as young as five years old may be good candidates for the procedure, after a thorough consultation that includes the parents.
It’s not just for protruding ears. We commonly use otoplasty to correct ears that protrude from the head more than normal, but we can also reshape the contours of the ear, fix large and torn earlobes, address conditions such as “cauliflower ear,” and adjust overall size if needed.
The procedure takes around 1.5-2 hours. Depending on the extent of the correction needed, you can expect your surgery to be completed within two hours or less. In some cases the procedure may even be completed under local anesthesia.
Discomfort is minimal, if any. Otoplasty is generally very easily tolerated, with mild discomfort for a day or two following the procedure that is treatable with over the counter medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Results are visible immediately, scars are virtually invisible. In the hands of a qualified, skilled cosmetic or facial plastic surgeon, the scars should be virtually undetectable in the crease behind the ear.
Candidates for otoplasty must meet the following requirements:
Children five years of age and up; any healthy adult
Generally in good health
Desire ear reshaping (e.g., protruding ears, poorly formed ears, earlobe reduction, earlobe repair or reshaping)
It is very rewarding to see the increased self-confidence level a patient experiences after an otoplasty. Those who have been hiding their ears behind their hair or hats love the new freedom the surgery allows them, and children are excited to show off their “new ears.”
If you or someone you love would benefit from an otoplasty, please contact Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331 for a complimentary consultation. We look forward to answering your questions.