Many individuals, starting from childhood, are unhappy with the size or shape of their ears. Or, for some, the ears protrude more than they should, are asymmetrical, or droop too low. Otoplasty, also referred to as ear plastic surgery, is available to cosmetically alter the ears. The procedure can have a dramatic impact on a person’s appearance, confidence, and overall quality of life.
Torn earlobes are a relatively common occurrence that can occur from earring injuries. The most common approach is to excise the hole and surgically close it. You can often re-pierce the ears in 3-6 months. There are more complicated ways to fix the earlobes but these options are ultimately less than optimal. This surgery is often done in the office under local anesthesia.
The correction and reconstruction of gauged ear lobes often require flaps of earlobe tissue that are rearranged to reconstruct the earlobes. Re-piercing of the earlobes can occur 3-6 months later depending on the healing. This surgery can also be done in the office under local anesthesia.
Candidates for otoplasty may be those who feel self-conscious about their ears and want to improve their appearance. Healthy men and women, as well as children as young as five, may make an excellent Otoplasty candidate. People experiencing a malformation, asymmetry, or an unusual protrusion of the ears can find satisfying results through an Otoplasty. It is also important that you are in good general health, and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. Dr. Burnett will discuss with you your otoplasty goals so that you understand what can be achieved by the surgery.
Ear surgery is commonly performed under general anesthesia for children and local anesthesia for adults. The standard otoplasty procedure brings the ears closer to the head. Otoplasty begins with an incision hidden in the crease behind the ear. This incision allows the cartilage located behind the ears to be reshaped in order to position them closer to the head. The procedure takes approximately one to two hours, depending upon the extent of surgery.
There are various surgical techniques involved in correcting irregularities other than protruding ears. Dr. Burnett will discuss these techniques with you during the initial consultation and he will determine what surgery is best for each patient.
After the surgery is completed, large bandages will be wrapped around the head. Initially there may be mild discomfort, but Dr. Burnett will make sure patients are resting comfortably at home with the appropriate pain medications. Bruising and swelling may occur, but will diminish over the next two to three weeks. A headband may be required, to assist appropriate healing of the ears. Patients are normally feeling well enough to return to work or school in seven to ten days.