Let’s Hear it for the Ears

Otoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure done to correct prominent ears, commonly known as ears that stick-out.Surgery can improve the shape, position or size of the ear.It can correct a malformation or defect of the ear, and improve facial balance and symmetry.

Most commonly otoplasty is performed on children as they enter school age.Many children with protruding ears suffer from embarrassment and low self-esteem. They can be subjected to teasing and name-calling. They may fear school, and interactions with other children.They may often be called by cruel nicknames like “Dumbo” or “Mickey Mouse”.

This is why most parents choose to consider surgery before kindergarten or first grade. By age five or six, the ear cartilage is strong enough for correction and the child is cooperative and able to follow instructions.
Otoplasty is most often performed under local anesthesia or with light sedation. Surgery is performed with an incision behind the ear, in a natural skin fold. The cartilage is sculptured and sutured into a more natural shape and position.Permanent sutures are placed to create the new ear fold.

Otoplasty surgery is an outpatient procedure, and can be performed in an office surgical suite.After surgery a soft dressing is placed for a few days, followed by a soft headband for two weeks. Most patients experience very little discomfort, and resume most activities very quickly.

Otoplasty surgery on both children and adults can be life changing. The psychological impact of correcting protruding ears is life-long.Both self-confidence and self-esteem are improved, making for a much happier individual.

Article by
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon