Many people are born with ears that fail to fold back during development which cause the ears to become an overly prominent feature. Fortunately, this abnormality can be corrected with Otoplasty (or Ear Pinning, cosmetic ear surgery), a procedure using hidden incisions to soften and fold the ear cartilage into a more natural position.
Otoplasty is a procedure most commonly performed to correct the prominent ear, which is an ear that protrudes or sticks out too far from the head.
The procedure is accomplished through an inconspicuous incision made on the back of the ear where it meets the head. Various techniques are used to sculpt the underlying cartilage and bend it back towards the head with sutures to restore normal ear shape and position.
Otoplasty is performed in both adults and children. A child must have full ear development (around age 5) before Otoplasty can be performed. Surgery is recommended only when the child wants the change.
Otoplasty is an out patient procedure and may be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation. It usually takes about 2 hours to perform.
A bulky head dressing is worn the first day. This is replaced with a lighter head dressing similar to a headband, worn mainly at night for approximately 4 weeks. The sutures dissolve in about a week. Activities which may bend the ear are avoided for a month. Adults can return to work and children to school within one week.
Risks and Complications
Complications of Otoplasty include but are not limited to infections, hematoma, or blood clot, unfavorable scarring and recurrent deformity. Significant complications, although possible, are uncommon.
Click here to read some frequently asked questions about Otoplasty
Click here to contact Philadelphia otoplasty specialist Dr. David Bottger with any questions or to schedule your otoplasty consultation.