Are you an ideal candidate for Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)?

by Dr. Ramtin Kassir, M.D., F.A.C.S. | Feb. 9, 2017, 8:45 a.m.

Ears are an interesting aspect of the face - extending from either side, these small features have a powerful impact on the appearance of the rest of the face. Because they are placed so delicately on either side of the head, even the most minute variances in size can throw off the balance of one’s face and drawing attention to the appendage.

In childhood, many individuals whose ears offset the face’s balance - by protruding too far away from the head or visibly appearing too large for the other facial features - became the target for teasing and bullying. Because of this, many of these people spend their lives insecure and self-conscious about the way their ears look and are prompted to consider otoplasty.

Otoplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed in order to improve the shape, proportions and position of the ears, harmonizing the facial features and creating the balance.

How Otoplasty / Ear Surgery Works:

Dr. Kassir, who has been specializing in facial reconstructive surgery for over 20 years and is triple-board certified, holds an initial consultation with the patient in order to clearly understand the patient’s concerns and gauge what procedure would be ideal in achieving their desired results.

If someone’s concerns is with the size of their ears, Dr. Kassir will typically perform ear reduction surgery on them, while someone who is dissatisfied with the way their ears protrude from their head will be more inclined to having ear pinning conducted on them.

The procedure can be performed on anyone whose ears have reached maturity, which is around 5-6 years of age.

Ear Surgery / Otoplasty Procedure:

Ear Pinning: This surgery is typically performed under local anesthesia and can range anywhere from an hour to two hours, depending on the extent of work needed to be done and the surgeon’s level of expertise. The area around the ear is then numbed and an incision is made along the natural fold behind the ear. The surgeon will then remove a section of the cartilage and skin, then the ear is pinned back into place with sutures or staples.

Ear Reduction: An incision is made in the shape of a crescent moon between the helix and the anithelix inside the ear. Cartilage and skin are then removed and stitches are used in order to bind the wound together.

Ear Surgery / Otoplasty Recovery Process:

Recovery from ear surgery typically takes about a week, but the patient is able to remove the initial bandage a few days after the procedure; However, fresh bandages must then be applied for the remainder of the week. During the recovery week, patients are not permitted to wash their hair. They also are instructed to elevate their head while they sleep and avoid sleeping on their side.

After a week, the stitches and bandages are removed. The patient may experience visible swelling, bruising and puffing of the ears, but this will subside within a couple of weeks. Keeping the head cool during healing is an important aspect in aiding the process and diminishing pain.