Surgery of the ear (otoplasty) is a procedure that can help to correct protruding ears. Frequently, this procedure is performed on children that are born with ear irregularities. This is done between ages four to fourteen. Ears that protrude or “stick out” are often the source of teasing and ridicule among young children and adolescents. This can have a dramatic impact on the child’s psyche.
Cosmetic procedures to correct ear irregularities in adult patients can also be performed. This typically results in a significant improvement in appearance. We usually perform this in young men planning to go into the armed forces or those seeking to correct their ear gauge peircings prior to job interviews. This can also be done on women for similar reasons, or to fix torn or stretched ear ring holes. (Watch this procedure performed on our Watch Surgical Procedures page)
Reasons to choose ear surgery:
- Birth deformities of the ear, i.e., absent ear, ear that is too small or large, missing parts of the ear
- Correct protruding ears or folded ear tips (lop ear)
- Reshape an ear after traumatic injury
- Correct an ear piercing injury, damaged lobe after removal of gauges, or earring trauma
Depending on the procedure required, the surgery may be done in the office under local anesthesia, or may need to be performed in an outpatient setting, under general anesthesia. The procedural details will depend on the patient’s desires. This will be discussed in detail at the consultation with the physician. For children born with an ear defect, a cartilage graft may be needed to reconstruct the ear. This graft is generally taken from one of the ribs. The time requirement depends on the type and complexity of the procedure being performed.
The recovery process is dependant on the extent of the surgery performed. This will be discussed with the surgeon at the time of the consultation.