If you’ve always been self-conscious about the size of your ears, or if you constantly find yourself trying to cover your ears with your hair or a cap, you may be a good plastic surgery candidate.
Ear surgery (also known as otoplasty) can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear for both children and adults. It can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth that becomes apparent with size development or it can treat misshapen ears caused by injury, such as “cauliflower ear.”
Ear surgery creates a natural shape, while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. It is most commonly used to correct prominent ears, although otoplasty techniques are used on many ear deformities as well.
Typically, otoplasty in children is often delayed until after the child reaches the age of 10, with the majority of procedures being deferred until a later age.
Ear surgery can treat:
- Overly large ears — a rare condition called macrotia. Ears normally project 15-18 cm from the head in the mid-portion of the ear. If your ears protrude beyond that distance, surgery can position the ears to these normal distances.
- Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees
- Adult dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery
- Cauliflower Ear and other injuries
You will have a consultation prior to otoplasty with Dr. Colgrove to determine how surgery can help you and if you have reasonable expectations. Measurements will be taken to see if the ears do in fact stick out further than normal, the details of the surgery can be decided upon.
There are several different, well-established techniques utilized in correcting the three-dimensional contour of the ear. These involve combinations of cartilage scoring, cartilage suturing and cartilage resection. The incision is placed behind the ear to avoid visible scarring.
Prior to sedation, surgeon and patient will review the pending surgery and expected outcome. The surgery may last between two and three hours. A pre-determined sequence of cartilage manipulations will assist the surgeon in crafting the ears into a more normal shape and protrusion from the head. When the surgery is completed, each ear is packed with medicated gauze to minimize the chance for fluid collection between the skin and cartilage. A bulky bandage is wrapped around the head to hold the gauze packing in place. Otoplasty cosmetic surgery carries little risk and can be done as an outpatient procedure in our facility. The staff is exceptional and extremely skilled, and the facility is very comfortable for our patients and their families.