by Dr. Ramtin Kassir, M.D., F.A.C.S. | July 17, 2018, 10:19 a.m.

Ear Surgery - Otoplasty

Are you an ideal candidate for Ear Surgery / Otoplasty?

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.

Are you an ideal candidate for Ear Surgery / Otoplasty?

Though the ears may seem like a secondary feature when compared to more central facial aspects, like the nose, eyes and mouth, it actually can have a dramatic effect on the rest of the face. Because of this, many people turn to otoplasty (ear surgery) as a way to remedy any imbalance that they feel is drawing attention to their ears.

Many patients who express interest in ear surgery (otoplasty) find their hyper-awareness to their ears presence spurs from childhood experiences where they may have been teased or bullied because of the shape or size of the appendage.

Because even just the slightest amount of imbalance can throw off the delicate harmony of the face, it is incredibly important that patients interested in otoplasty (ear surgery) select a surgeon who is reputable and has specializes in facial reconstructive surgery.

How Otoplasty / Ear Surgery Works:

An initial evaluation is conducted by triple-board certified surgeon, Dr. Kassir, who has over 20 years of specialization in facial reconstructive surgery. In meeting with the patient, he’s able to study the proportions of the facial features and determine which surgical procedure and technique would best achieve the patient’s desired result.

This procedure can be done on practically anyone as long as their ears have reached full maturity, which is normally around 5 or 6 years old.

The most common forms of otoplasty are ear pinning and ear reduction. Ear pinning targets ears that protrude too far away from the head, while ear reduction is specific to reshaping the size of the appendage.

Ear Surgery / Otoplasty Procedure:

Otoplasty is typically performed under local anesthesia (the patient is alert during the operation) and lasts about 1- 1.5 hours. Depending on what the target issue is will depend on the incision placement.

Ear Pinning: This form of otoplasty specifically targets ears that protrude too far away from the head. In order to correct this, an incision is made behind the ear, along the fold where the head and ear are fused together. A portion of cartilage and skin is removed and the area is stitched together using permanent stitches or staples that will be removed after a week.

Ear Reduction: This otoplasty procedure targets ears that are disproportionate to the rest of the facial features, exceeding the appropriate size. With this procedure, a crescent moon-shaped incision is made between the helix and the antihelix. A portion of cartilage and skin is removed and the area is fused back together with the assistance of permanent stitches, which will be removed after about a week.

Ear Surgery / Otoplasty Recovery Process:

Ear surgery recovery normally takes about a week before the patient can return to everyday activities. The initial bandage binding the wound is able to be removed a few days after surgery, but must be replaced with fresh once for the rest of the week. After the bandages are removed, it is not uncommon for patients to have visible swelling and bruising, but this will dissipate over time.

During the otoplasty recovery, it is recommended that the patient refrain from physical activities, such as exercise. It’s also very important to keep the head cool during the healing process. Patients are also instructed to keep their head elevated and avoid sleeping on their side.