Otoplasty is the surgical reshaping of the outer ear, to correct either deformities or make them look better. Otoplasty (surgery of the ear) was developed in ancient India, in the 5th century BC, by the ayurvedic physician Sushruta, which he described in the medical compendium, the Sushruta samhita. Otoplasty can be either a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure. Correction of bat ear or prominent ear is an example of cosmetic otoplasty, while surgery to build up the outer ear after injury is an example of reconstructive otoplasty. It can involve changing the angle and shape of the ears to make them less prominent, improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. It can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth that becomes apparent with development or it can treat deformities caused by injury. Otoplasty is more commonly performed during childhood, as they have near total ear development at age five or six. Correction of the ears prior to the child entering school helps eliminate potential psychological trauma from the teasing of classmates. Adults may also have their ears reshaped. As long as you are in good health, there is no upper age limit for this surgery. Ear surgery creates a natural shape of ear and brings balance between ear and face. Correction of ear deformities can have profound benefits to appearance andself-esteem.
You might consider otoplasty:
- To set prominent or protruding ears closer to the head.
- To reduce the size of large ears.
Otoplasty is typically done on both ears to optimize symmetry. Otoplasty won't change the location of your ears or alter your ability to hear.
The corrective goal of otoplasty is to set back the ears so that they appear naturally proportionate and contoured, without evidence of surgical correction. Therefore, when the corrected ears are viewed, they should appear normal. Otoplasty techniques vary based on what kind of correction is needed. The particular technique that your plastic surgeon recommends will depend on the nature of the problem. Everyone will not achieve the same results because of individual factors. Your plastic surgeon will apply these otoplastic techniques, either individually or in combination to achieve an outcome that produces an ear of natural proportions, contour, and appearance.
The actual surgery will last about two to three hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure for your particular case. Incisions for otoplasty are generally made on the back surface of the ear. When incisions are necessary on the front of the ear, they are made within its folds to hide them. You will have scars at the incision site. However, these probably will fade over time.
After the procedure
After otoplasty, your ears will be covered in a voluminous, non-compressive dressing for protection and support. You'll likely feel some discomfort and itching. To keep pressure off your ears, avoid sleeping on your side. Also try not to rub or place excessive force on the incisions. A few days after otoplasty, your doctor will remove your bandages. Your ears will likely be swollen and red. A headband should be worn at night for 3-6 weeks after the dressing is removed. This will help keep you from pulling your ears forward when rolling over in bed.
After your bandages are removed, you'll notice an immediate change in the appearance of your ears. These changes are permanent. Ear surgery offers almost immediate results in cases of protruding ears. With the ear permanently positioned closer to the head, surgical scars are either hidden behind the ear or well hidden within the natural creases of the ear and these probably will fade over time.
A split or torn earlobe is one of the most common aesthetic deformities of the ear. This can result from heavy earrings or from trauma to the lobe. Regardless, it can cause distress to the patient who wants to continue to wear earrings or would like to restore symmetry to their earlobes. Fortunately, there is a simple and effective procedure that can fix these earlobe tears in the office. Depending on the deformity, reconstruction can take different forms. In all methods, the skin lining of the slot is removed creating a raw edge to rebuild. After creating flaps, the raw edges are brought directly together using a combination of dissolvable sutures in the deeper layers and fine skin sutures that are removed at a later date. No provision for the jewelry hole is made at this time. After several months of healing, the ear can be pierced again if desired. The scar is typically a fine line that is difficult to detect.