Cosmetic ear surgery, or otoplasty, can correct ears that are too prominent or out of proportion with other facial features. While otoplasty may be performed as a purely cosmetic procedure, ear surgery can also correct abnormal ear shape after serious injuries. Congenital defects that cause ear abnormality also can be fixed with otoplasty. Ear surgery can be performed on adult patients, or on children as young as five or six who have achieved their full ear growth.
Contact us online today to learn more about your options for ear surgery. The Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas helps men and women from Austin, Round Rock and throughout Texas. Count on our team to help restore function and appearance through a wide range of cosmetic procedures.
Benefits of Otoplasty
There are many reasons why the ears may look too prominent compared to the rest of the head. Sometimes, ears join the head at an unflattering angle, causing them to protrude farther from the surface. Overdevelopment or underdevelopment of the cartilage can also cause the ears to jut outwards. Finally, accidents or injuries to the ear can also cause physical damage to the ear that requires reconstruction.
Otoplasty is one of the only cosmetic procedures that is performed on minors. Feeling self-conscious about ear appearance can lead to low self-confidence in children. It’s common for kids to tease each other, and an obvious physical issue like ears that stick out is an easy target. For this reason, many parents will choose otoplasty for their child’s prominent ears before they begin school full-time.
Although children may be especially affected by having large ears, either children or adults can benefit from cosmetic ear surgery. This procedure corrects the shape, size or placement of the ears regardless of the cause for concerns over ear appearance. Otoplasty can be performed at any age after ears have reached their full growth, which usually happens around age five or six.
In younger patients, the primary reason for ear surgery is cosmetic. Surgery restores a more proportionate look to the face and head, which helps kids avoid getting teased about their appearance. However, otoplasty can also be performed to resolve abnormalities or repair severe ear injuries. Although ear surgery will improve the physical appearance of the ear, it will not affect hearing function.
Understanding the Procedure
The specifics of surgery vary depending on the reasons for pursuing otoplasty in the first place, as well as the level of correction needed. Ear surgery can include otopexy, which is sometimes known as ear pinning. This approach removes a piece of cartilage so the ears can lie flatter against the head. Another option is ear reduction to trim down cartilage so ears are less prominent. For those with missing cartilage or small ears, ear augmentation rebuilds ear structure. The incision for ear surgery is placed behind the ear, and is hidden by the natural folds of skin after healing. The surgery itself takes just an hour or two.
Recovery and Results
Bandages should be worn over the ears at first, followed by a loose headband to hold the ears in their new placement. Patients return to school or work in about a week, and resume normal physical activities around two weeks after surgery. Swimming should be avoided for a few months after surgery, as well as any contact sports.
Otoplasty from the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas repairs damaged ears, and makes prominent ears more proportionate. Following ear surgery, patients of all ages experience an improvement in self-esteem and feel more positive about their appearance.