Prominent or large ears can often lead to teasing among children and can make anyone, young or old, feel self-conscious about their appearance. Our board-certified facial plastic surgeons, J. David Kriet, MD and Clinton D. Humphrey, MD, are skilled and experienced in the latest facial plastic and reconstructive surgical techniques and offer surgery to reposition and reshape the ears (otoplasty) of both children and adults. For each otoplasty patient, our surgeons develop a customized surgical plan for reducing ear projection and modifying shape to achieve improved facial harmony.
Benefits of Otoplasty
The goal of otoplasty is to symmetrically reposition and/or reshape either one or both of the ears to create a less prominent appearance. This procedure can reduce ear dominance among the facial features and restore a more balanced facial appearance. Repositioning the ears can also reduce ear pain during sleep and sensitivity to sound that can affect individuals with protruding ears. For patients with ear shape abnormalities, otoplasty revises problematic ear features and to achieve a more proportionate appearance. Otoplasty can be performed at either a young age, during adolescence, or in adulthood with outstanding results; however, most surgeons recommend otoplasty at an early age (at least five-years-old) to reduce the potential for teasing and social trauma in childhood.
The Otoplasty Procedure
Children are typically placed under general anesthesia during otoplasty, while adults may only require conscious sedation and local anesthesia. Surgery begins with an incision hidden in the natural skin crease behind the ear. A small amount of skin is removed, and then the cartilage is reshaped using a variety of techniques to achieve the desired contour and orientation. Finally, the incisions are closed to hold the ear in place. If necessary, the procedure is then performed on the other ear to create a symmetrical result. Otoplasty generally takes between 1 to 2 hours, depending upon the complexity of the procedure.
Recovery After Otoplasty
After otoplasty, the ears are bandaged in soft dressings for a few days. When these dressings are removed, it is recommended that patients wear a specialized headband at night for several weeks after surgery. Patients typically resume their normal daily routine after about one week; however, patients are cautioned to avoid strenuous activities for three to four weeks following surgery. Discomfort after otoplasty is typically mild and can be effectively managed with medication.
Adults and children who have undergone otoplasty with our facial plastic surgeons typically achieve outstanding results. Before-and-after photographs of our otoplasty patients are included in our gallery, and if you are considering the procedure for either yourself or your child, we encourage you to take a look.
Contact Our Practice
Otoplasty (ear surgery) performed by Dr. Kriet and Dr. Humphrey can correct prominent ears and enhance self-esteem. We invite you to contact our practice for more information on cosmetic ear surgery, or to schedule a consultation.