Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure to improve the size and appearance of a person’s ears. Otoplasty can provide great psychological benefits to anyone who has been teased about the size or shape of their ears. Cosmetic ear surgery can correct the effects of aging and trauma. Whether it be a serious ear injury, stretched earlobes, or simply to improve the appearance of the ear, Dr. Trussler can treat all of these issues in all ages of patients.
What Are My Ear Surgery Options?
Otoplasty typically treats multiple ear deformities by setting prominent ears back closer to the head, and define the shape and reduce the size of the ears. Ear surgery may also be helpful for the following conditions:
- Large or protruding ears
- Lop ear (top of the ear folds downward or inward)
- Cupped ear (a small ear)
- Shell ear (no outer curve in the cartilage)
- Large stretched, or torn earlobes
- Earlobes with large creases and wrinkles
- Ears that have been damaged by traumatic injuries
- Skin cancer reconstruction
Dr. Trussler is able to construct new ears for patients who are missing them from congenital deformities or injury.
Candidates for otoplasty may be anyone who feels self-conscious about their ears and wants to improve their appearance. Prominent ears can cause repetitive ear trauma when playing sports and can be a source of teasing and bullying in school. Although the operation is most often performed on children aged four to fourteen, this procedure can be very beneficial to people of all ages. Ears are almost fully grown by age four, and early surgery can reduce the risk of embarrassment and teasing in school.
Cosmetic ear surgery can be considered at all ages. Typical presentations are injuries or effects of earrings, commonly a torn earlobe.
Dr. Trussler will listen to your goals and evaluate your ears to formulate individual treatment options during your ear surgery consultation in Austin, Texas. Results of the otoplasty can be demonstrated in the office during the consultation and with photography. It is important that the patient is in good general health and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the otoplasty procedure.
Otoplasty is generally an outpatient surgical procedure that generally lasts two to three hours. The type of anesthesia used typically depends on the age of the patient. General anesthesia is recommended for very young patients, while local anesthesia and a sedative may be used for older children and adults.
The otoplasty procedure can usually be performed through a small incision made behind the ear in a natural skin crease. The cartilage is then sculpted and bent into its new position to achieve the desired appearance. The shape and definition of the sculpted ear is held in place with internal sutures. In most types of otoplasty, skin is removed from the back of the ear and cartilage is shaved to reduce the prominence of the ear. Sutures are used to hold the ear back to the head in the new position. All external sutures are dissolvable. A bandage is then wrapped around the head to ensure the ear and its new positioning is protected. One or both ears are operated on depending on if both or just one ear is prominent.
Cosmetic correction of most other ear deformities, including earlobes, can be performed in the office under local anesthesia depending on the age of the patient.
After Care & Recovery
Patients of all ages usually recover quickly after ear surgery, although the ears may ache or throb for a few days. Long lasting local anesthesia and oral medication are used for discomfort after the ear operation.
One week after the otoplasty procedure, the bandages around the head will be replaced with an athletic headband to be used for an additional 3 weeks. The stitches are dissolvable but may be removed within one week. Otoplasty patients should avoid sleeping without their headband for four to six weeks after surgery.
After about one week following otoplasty, children may return to school and adults are often able to return immediately to work and resume normal daily activities. After the ears have healed completely, there will usually be a faint scar on the back of the ears. However, because of the strategic placement of the incisions in ear surgery, the scars should be virtually unnoticeable with any hairstyle, and will typically fade with time.
Whether you have a question or would like to set up a consultation, Dr. Trussler and his staff are here to help. Please fill out our contact form, or call our Austin office at 512-450-1077 to schedule an appointment. Start your journey to not only looking, but feeling better today!