An otoplasty (sometimes called ear pinning surgery) is a surgical procedure offered by double board-certified Dr. Paul Stanislaw that can change the position, shape, and size of the ears. The most common reason for performing cosmetic ear surgery is that ears stick out too far from the head, giving them a dissatisfying appearance of being too large. To solve this, an otoplasty restructures the ear and can bring it 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.
Good candidates for otoplasty or ear pinning surgery are in good overall health and do not smoke. If you are concerned about your or your child’s ear shape, position, or size, contact us at the Stanislaw Facial Plastic Surgery Center to find out if you or your child are a candidate for otoplasty surgery in Connecticut.
The normal distance between the outer edge of an ear to the scalp immediately behind it is 15 to 17 millimeters. Generally, Dr. Stanislaw recommends otoplasty if the ear sticks out further than 17 mm from the scalp.
For a child to be eligible for otoplasty, they must be 5 years of age or older. There are two main reasons for this: The first is because, at this age, the 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 self-consciousness, and will start to recognize that their ear or ears look different from their peers.
In general, otoplasty can achieve significant results by adjusting the amount of cartilage and skin in your ear, which in turn determines how far out they protrude from your head. During ear surgery, Dr. Stanislaw will remove excess skin and manipulate cartilage from the largest concave part of your ear, allowing the ear to sit closer to the head.
Additionally, Dr. Stanislaw can create or increase a part of the ear called the anti-helical fold, which can both reduce the overall size of the prominent ears as well as correct misshapen ears.
Although you may experience some changes in skin sensitivity following ear surgery, these changes are rarely permanent. In addition, otoplasty does not affect your ability to hear no matter what age you have the procedure performed.
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It’s important to understand that even though ear surgery and other plastic surgery procedures are highly effective, they have limitations for what a patient can expect to achieve. Although otoplasty can reduce the size of your ears or adjust the distance they are from your head, this procedure cannot change the location of your ears.
Undergoing ear surgery may not result in the exact results you were looking for the first time. In cases where results are unsatisfying, revision otoplasty can be performed, whether due to under- or over-correction of protruding ears.
Men and women who have self-confidence issues because of the size and shape of their ears can undergo this procedure in our Connecticut office under local anesthesia. However, if a patient prefers, this plastic surgery procedure can be performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. And if the surgery is going to be performed on a child, it is usually done under general anesthesia.
During ear surgery, Dr. Stanislaw makes incisions either on the back of your ears or within the folds, depending on your unique ear shape and desired results. To reshape and pull the ear closer to your head, Dr. Stanislaw will remove excess cartilage and skin, then fold the cartilage to achieve the aesthetic results you want.
When Dr. Stanislaw is finished with the otoplasty procedure, he will close the incisions with sutures. The sutures will be removed at a post-operative appointment a week later.
Immediately after ear surgery, you or your child will be discharged from our office, and someone else must take the patient home.
Even though the incision is in the crease behind the ear, there is still bruising on the front side of the ear. This bruising may be visible for one to two weeks. If the patient has long hair that covers their ears, they can easily go out in public without anyone knowing they had ear reshaping surgery. If the patient has short hair and 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 otoplasty surgery. In children, however, a dressing is usually applied for the first several days of the healing process to protect the ears from inadvertent damage 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.
Setting realistic expectations for results is key when researching ear reshaping surgery to bring your ears closer to your head or change ear size or shape. Dr. Stanislaw will brief you during a consultation about the results an otoplasty can and cannot achieve for your specific case.
There is little concern for visible scarring with an otoplasty for a few reasons. First, the incisions are placed in the crease behind the ear where the ear meets the scalp, which is rarely visible to others. In addition, the ear usually heals very well and the incision blends seamlessly behind the ear, even if the ear is pulled back.
The results of otoplasty are permanent, providing a lifelong change to the appearance of a patient’s ear or ears.
Does otoplasty affect hearing?
No, otoplasty surgery does not affect hearing.
An otoplasty is a permanent solution for protruding ears that is safely performed on children and adults alike who may suffer from low self-esteem due to their appearance. At Stanislaw Facial Plastic Surgery Center, we offer this minimally invasive cosmetic procedure as part of our complete plastic surgery offerings. To learn more about otoplasty in Connecticut for you or a loved one, call us at (860) 404-6133 or contact us online today.