Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)
It’s common for people to be unhappy about the way their ears look. It’s common for people with prominent ears to be very self conscious about their ears, and attempt to hide them with their hair, avoiding hairstyles or hats that accentuate their ears. If an issue or concern with the shape, size, and position of your ears has been a concern since birth, or you’ve experienced any type of ear trauma, or you’re unhappy with a former piercing choice, ear surgery (called otoplasty) can resolve the situation.
What is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty, more commonly known as ear surgery, is a surgical procedure that corrects a number of ear concerns. Men, women and children can benefit from otoplasty, as issues with the ears can be a concern from a young age. An otoplasty procedure requires a specialist who has experience with reshaping, sizing and positioning the ears perfectly.
The changes made to the ears during ear surgery must create a natural appearance. The point of the otoplasty is to take attention away from the ears, so anything the surgeon does must create a very natural, normal ear appearance that doesn’t draw any attention to this feature of the body, and allow the focus to be on the face.
An otoplasty surgery can be done to address the following ear concerns, and each concern often calls for a different type of procedure than the others. Otoplasty is not a “one size fits all” operation--Dr. Berkowitz will decide on the exact procedural steps to take based on your specific concerns:
- Over-prominent ears that stick out from the head (this procedure is called ear pinning)
- Misshapen ears from either a natural defect or trauma
- Too large or overly prominent ears
- Small or underdeveloped ears
- Sagging, elongated or stretched ears
- Torn earlobes
- Stretched earlobes from heavy earrings or gauges
- Connected earlobes you would like to have disconnected
- Disconnected earlobes you would like to have connected
What are the benefits of ear surgery?
Ear surgery, including earlobe repair and ear pinning has many benefits for patients who have aesthetic concerns about their ears. If your ears are a source of dissatisfaction or embarrassment, ear surgery can be life changing. And for a child whose ears have been the subject of bullying, ear surgery can greatly improve their quality of life.
- Brings proportion to the face
- Enlarges or rebuilds small ears or other congenital defects.
- Reduces long, sagging, or prominent earlobes.
- Reconstructs the ear after trauma or injury
- Boosts confidence and self esteem
- Provides a permanent correction to ear concerns
- Is considered a safer surgical procedure
- Usually requires short recovery time
Am I a candidate for otoplasty?
If you don’t like the way your ears look, you may be a candidate for otoplasty, including earlobe repair or ear pinning. Ideal candidates for otoplasty or ear pinning should meet the following requirements:
- Have concerns about the shape, size, prominence, or structure of their ear
- Have experienced ear trauma of some kind
- Are generally healthy
- Do not smoke
- Have fully formed ears (usually the ears are fully formed by age five)
- Have realistic expectations about what this procedure can do for them
Otoplasty procedure details
Your otoplasty procedure begins with a thoughtful consultation with Dr. Berkowitz. Dr. Berkowitz will have a thorough consultation period with you to evaluate your ear or ears, discuss your concerns and vision for your ears, and design a treatment plan that includes the best procedure approach for you to achieve your aesthetic goals.
Otoplasty usually takes a couple of hours and can often be done under local anesthesia, depending on your condition and age. Depending on which type of procedure Dr. Berkowitz is using to address your ears, he will make incisions either on the back of the ears at the crease between the ear and head, or in the inner creases of the ears. The incisions and technique varies based on what correction you would like to have done on your ears. Dr. Berkowitz may perform ear pinning, ear reduction, ear reconstruction or earlobe repair to help you achieve your goals.
This procedure includes removing a piece of cartilage so that the ears can lie flatter against your head at a more flattering angle.
During an ear reduction, the cartilage is trimmed down to make the ears less prominent and smaller.
An earlobe repair can include redistribution of tissue, closing a wound, or resizing or reshaping the earlobe to create an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
If your ears need to be reconstructed due to too small of a size or missing cartilage or a congenital defect, the procedure is more involved. Ear augmentation is performed to rebuild the structure of the ear. This can be done with an implant, or in some cases a part of the rib cartilage is used.
Otoplasty recovery--what to expect
After your procedure, your ears will be supported and protected by bandages for a few days. It’s important to avoid any pressure or contact with the ears during this time. There will be bruising and swelling for 2-3 days after the surgery. This will begin to ease on the fourth or fifth day after your procedure. Expect mild to moderate pain or itchiness. This can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications.
After ear surgery, most patients are able to return to work, school or other usual activities in a few days to a week. In most cases, otoplasty leaves a faint scar hidden in the crease behind the ear, which fades over time.
Why choose Accents Cosmetic Surgery?
Dr. Mark Berkowitz is a board-certified and fellowship-trained oculofacial surgeon. As an award-winning cosmetic surgeon, he draws upon his specialized training, technical skill and artistic eye for aesthetics to provide the stellar results he’s known for. Dr. Berkowitz has over 25 years of experience and has performed thousands of successful procedures with satisfied patients. He was voted one of Detroit’s Top Plastic Surgeons, and considers it an honor to help his patients achieve their individualized aesthetic goals.