An otoplasty is a surgical procedure offered by Dr. Stanislaw that can change the position, shape, and size of an ear. The most common reason for performing an otoplasty is when the ear sticks out too far from the head, giving the ear the appearance of being too large. In this situation, an otoplasty restructures the ear so it is closer to the head, creating the appearance of a smaller ear. An otoplasty can be performed on just one ear, if only one ear sticks out, or both ears if both ears stick out.
Adults who have one or both ears that stick out, usually undergo an otoplasty in the office under local anesthesia. However, if a patient prefers, the procedure can be performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. An otoplasty that is performed on a child is usually performed at an outpatient surgical center under general anesthesia.
Am I a good candidate for an Otoplasty?
If you are concerned about the position, size, and shape of your ears or your child’s ears, then a consultation would be indicated to determine if you or your child would benefit from an otoplasty. The normal position of an ear is 15 to 17 millimeters from the outer edge of the ear to the scalp immediately behind the ear. If an ear sticks out further than 17mm from the scalp, an otoplasty would be recommended.
Children usually undergo an otoplasty at 5 years of age or older. There are two main reasons for this: The first reason is because at this age the child’s ear has nearly reached its adult size. The second reason is that at 5 years old (the beginning of school) the child is developing a sense of body identity, and will start to recognize that their ear or ears look different from their peers.
Is there any scarring from an Otoplasty?
The incision for an otoplasty is placed in the crease right behind the ear. The incision usually heals very well and blends in seamlessly within the natural crease that occurs behind the ear.
How long is the recovery period for an Otoplasty?
Because the incision for an otoplasty is in the crease behind the ear, the sutures cannot be seen after the surgery. The sutures are removed one week after the surgery. Even though the incision is in the crease behind the ear, there is still bruising on the front side of the ear. This bruising can be present for 1 to 2 weeks. If the patient’s hair covers their ears, they can easily go out in public without anyone knowing they had an otoplasty. If the patient has short hair and if they don’t want anyone to know they had an otoplasty, they may need to change their schedule for 1 to 2 weeks until the bruising subsides.
Dressings are not usually used for adults who undergo an otoplasty. In children however, a dressing is usually applied for the first several days to protect the ears from inadvertent trauma while sleeping. Adult patients can shower and wash their hair the day after surgery, and children can wash their hair in a shower once the dressing is removed.
How long does an Otoplasty last?
An otoplasty provides a lifelong change to the appearance of a patient’s ear or ears.