Otoplasty, otherwise known as “ear surgery”, is primarily done to reduce the size or prominence of large ears. Ideal candidates for this procedure are children over the age of four. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the ears are almost fully grown by that age, and the second is that patients’ generally cite ridicule and teasing from other children as their incentive to get the surgery. So the earlier it’s done, the less embarrassment and ridicule they will endure.
Although this surgery is more common for children, there are no additional risks or complications for adults who would like to take advantage of its many aesthetic benefits.
The first step in this outpatient procedure is for the doctor to make an incision on the back of the ear. Once the cartilage is exposed, it can be bent, re-sculpted or folded into the ideal shape. Stitches are then used to hold the new cartilage shape in place and to close the incision. The whole surgery should only last about two to three hours.
Recovery for this procedure is very minimal. The head must be wrapped in a bandage to promote the best molding and healing, but most children are back to normal activities within a few hours. An overnight stay is not necessary, but the Hampton Inn next-door to the Amin Plastic Surgery Center, is an ideal location to stay until the effects of the anesthesia completely wear off.
The original head bandage can be replaced within a few days by a lighter dressing, similar to a headband. Pain medication can be prescribed if necessary, and the stitches will either dissolve or need to be removed in about a week.
Although this surgery is more common for children, there is no reason why adults who would like to take advantage of its many aesthetic benefits cannot also elect to have this procedure.