Embarrassed by Your Ears? Otoplasty can Help.
Maybe you’ve always been self-conscious about your ears. Maybe your child has been taunted about the shape or size of his or her ears. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to wear short hairstyles or up-dos with confidence. Aesthetic ear surgery, or otoplasty, can create shapely ears and increased self-esteem. Ear surgery sculpts and reshapes the cartilage through incisions hidden on the back surface of the ear. It’s not only possible to correct protruding ears, but to reshape ears, reduce their size, and/or make them more symmetrical.
Is Ear Surgery Right For You?
Otoplasty can be performed at any age after the ears have reached full size. For children, ear surgery is often recommended at age five or six. This timing corrects the ears when the cartilage is extremely pliable, and before the child enters school, helping to eliminate potential psychological trauma from teasing.
Adults who desire more shapely ears, or ears that are proportionate to the size and shape of their face and head, may also benefit from ear surgery. Immediate results create a marked improvement in self-esteem and self-confidence.
You (or your child) may be a good candidate for ear surgery if you have:
- Protruding ears
- Large ears
- Abnormally shaped ears
The majority of otoplasties correct protruding ears, but other size or shape issues can also be corrected.
If you are a parent considering otoplasty for your child, you must be confident that you have your child's best interests at heart. A positive attitude toward surgery is an important factor in all facial plastic surgery, but is especially critical when the patient is a child or adolescent.
How is Ear Surgery Performed?
There are several surgical techniques that can improve the appearance of your ears. Dr. Koplin will select the surgical technique that will obtain the best outcome for you.
During an otoplasty to correct protruding ears, Dr. Koplin will reshape the supporting tissue of the ears (cartilage), positioning your ears closer to your head. During the surgery, which typically lasts two hours, Dr. Koplin makes incisions behind the ears. He then reshapes your ear, using internal, non-removable sutures to create and secure the newly shaped cartilage in place. External dissolvable stitches close the incision. Techniques are individualized, taking care not to distort other structures and to avoid an unnatural “pinned back” appearance.
In some cases, especially in ears that need to be reduced in size or that protrude in the middle third of the ear, Dr. Koplin may need to make incisions on the front of the ear. When this is necessary, he’ll make incisions in inconspicuous areas. In ear reductions, skin as well as cartilage often needs to be removed.
Your Ear Surgery Consultation
Dr. Koplin will personally meet with you so that he understands your expectations and desired outcomes for ear surgery. He’ll ask you a number of questions about your health, desires, lifestyle, and medical history.
During this initial meeting, Dr. Koplin will evaluate your health, and carefully assess your ears, head, and face. He may ask you to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved. He’ll recommend a particular technique, depending on the nature of your problem and many other factors, including your desires.
If you are considering otoplasty for your child, the consultation with Dr. Koplin can help you decide what is best for your child, not only aesthetically, but also psychologically and physically.
Dr. Koplin’s Special Expertise
Attention to detail, expertise in surgical technique, and experience with reconstructive as well as cosmetic surgeries sets Dr. Koplin apart from other surgeons. For nearly 20 years, he has used these techniques to enhance the looks and self-confidence of both children and adults.
Where is Ear Surgery Performed?
Your custom procedure will be performed in a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility associated with our medical office. We are fully accredited by Medicare and AAAASF, and are held to the same standards as an operating room in a private or university hospital.
Ear Surgery Safety and Comfort with Anesthesia
General anesthesia is the gold standard for this operation, especially for young children undergoing otoplasty. Under general anesthesia, you are fully asleep; there is no pain and no awareness. Alternatively, ear surgery may be performed using local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. Safety and comfort are always paramount. Your anesthesia provider has a wealth of experience in surgical procedures, safety, and care.
Fully-Staffed Recovery Room
You will spend about an hour in a fully-monitored and state-of-the art recovery room at the surgery center. Your registered nurse will be at your side every moment to attend to your safety and comfort.
Ear Surgery Recovery and Convalescence
After your ear surgery, dressings or bandages will be applied to keep your surgical site clean, protect it from trauma and to support the new position of your ears during initial healing. You should feel surprisingly little discomfort from the surgery.
You will probably be permitted to go home after a short period of observation, although Dr. Koplin may recommend you stay overnight in a recovery center. If you wish to recover at home, you must have someone stay with you the first night. We’ll send you home with specific care instructions, as well as information about medications that can aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your overall health, and when to follow-up with Dr. Koplin.
What to Expect After Ear Surgery:
The First Week:
Your post-surgical dressing is removed the day after surgery during a brief office visit.
We may ask you to wear gauze dressings or bandages for a few days or up to several weeks to ensure that your ears heal in their new, corrected position. Wearing a soft ski band at night can prevent the ears from bending during sleep.
If you had protruding ears corrected, you should be able to see results as soon as the dressings that support the new shape of the ear during initial phases of healing are removed.
You may feel some discomfort immediately following ear surgery, or feel itchy under your bandages. This is part of the normal healing process.
You should maintain head elevation as much as possible for the first several days.
You should avoid straining, bending and lifting.
The Second Week and Beyond:
You should be able to return to your regular, non-strenuous activities within ten days or less. Most people return to work or school between seven and ten days.
You need to avoid any strenuous exercise for at least two weeks, and contact sports for six weeks.
Any residual swelling and/or numbness will disappear over a period of weeks, though it may take up to three months for your ears to feel completely normal.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR YOUR CONSULTATION
If you’d like to find out more about ear surgery and if it’s right for you, please schedule your consultation today.
To view a list of all procedures, visit our Procedure List page.