Learn More About Ear Reshaping (Otoplasty)
Otoplasty is known as ear reshaping surgery. This cosmetic surgical procedure is used to shape, resize, and position the ears. Patients interested in otoplasty are typically concerned about their protruding ears. Many patients also seek to change the size of their ears. Dr. Donn Chatham has performed ear shaping surgeries on patients whose ear or ears have ears are misshapen due to heredity, injury or birth defect. Large, protruding ears can make men and women feel self-conscious about their appearance.
Another concern of patients is the repair of earlobes that are stretched, elongated, or torn due to ear piercing and the wearing of large and heavy earrings or the use of ear gauging (stretching) devices. In recent years, the popularity of ear stretching has resulted in many torn and disfigured earlobes. Because your earlobes have very little cartilage and are comprised of fatty tissue, they are prone to rip and tear leaving holes and unattractive hanging skin. Earlobe repair is an outpatient procedure where, in the case of loose hanging skin, the excess skin is removed and the earlobe is repaired to a more normal appearance. Learn more about earlobe repair surgery.
During your consultation with Dr. Chatham, he will advise the type and extent of your ear surgery based on your goals to reshape your ears or repair your earlobes.
What Are Prominent Ears
Do prominent and protruding ears run in your family? According to research prominent ears are seen in approximately 5% of the population.1 Ears are characterized as protruding if they extend more than 2 cm from the side of the head. Protruding ears are problematic for some children as they are often made fun of or bullied.
What is Corrective Ear Surgery For Children?
Dr. Chatham advises his patients that otoplasty, or corrective surgery for prominent or protruding ears, is typically done on children after the age of five years. Patients are advised to wait until the child’s ear cartilage is strong enough to support corrective surgery. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. As a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Chatham is highly experienced and skilled in ear shaping and repair surgery. He uses precise ear suturing techniques to reshape the ear cartilages into a natural-looking shape.
What is Corrective Ear Surgery For Adults
In adults, Dr. Chatham performs corrective ear surgery under local or general anesthesia. The surgery is performed through an incision behind the ear so there is no visible scar. He advises patients that typically ears are not the same exact size or shape from right to left so extra care is taken during surgery is to help them look as balanced and natural as possible.
What is the recovery process?
At first, the ears feel numb and look flat against the side of the head. Mild bruising is usual, but this subsides usually in about one week. Discomfort is minimal but medicine is prescribed as needed.
After the surgery, protective dressing is applied for one day. Patients may be advised to wear a headband for a period of time. The headband helps to protect the ears from abrupt changes in position during the early healing period. Normal activity can be resumed in two weeks, however contact sports are to be avoided for at least six weeks.
Over the next few months, there sometimes can be some “rebound” as the elasticity of the cartilage of the ears sometimes may slightly reposition itself. If this should become noticeable later, we typically recommend an additional suture behind the ear, and this can be done in the office.
What Results Can I Expect
An optimal and natural-looking result is always Dr. Chatham’s goal. He does not want to overcorrect the ears so that they look pasted back. Nor does he want to remove part of the ear so that they look “different”. Before ear surgery, it is not unusual to have to style hair in ways that hide one’s ears. A newfound sense of confidence often ensues and the effect is improved confidence. Many adults (and young people, too) enjoy the ability to wear their hair anyway they wish to following an otoplasty.
If you are interested in learning more about Ear Surgery or would like to schedule a consultation to see if you or your child is a candidate, contact us today. Call (502) 895-4820.