If you have overly large ears (macrotia) or ears that stick out too far from the head, it may cause social embarrassment and self-esteem issues. Children especially may be bullied or made fun of, which can cause psychological damage at a young age.
Otoplasty, also called ear pinning, is a facial plastic surgery procedure that can reshape and reposition the ears into a more normal appearance. This surgery can be performed on both adults and children, and has a very high satisfaction rate.
If you are interested in otoplasty surgery, please contact Philadelphia plastic surgeon Dr. David Bottger at 610-355-1929 today to schedule your initial consultation.
The Otoplasty Procedure
Otoplasty surgery can be performed under either general or local anesthesia, depending on patient preference. It is an outpatient procedure that takes around two hours to perform, and requires about a week of recovery time.
During otoplasty surgery, an incision is made at the back of the ear where it meets the head. Various techniques can be utilized to help sculpt the underlying cartilage and pin the ear back towards the head, depending on what is needed for the individual. The end result is a more normally shaped and positioned ear, with a very well hidden scar.
Recovery from otoplasty is fairly easy. A head dressing will be worn immediately after surgery, then removed the next day. This dressing will then be replaced with a lighter headband, which should be worn daily for approximately a week. After the first week, it can be worn only at night for around six weeks.
Showering can be done after the initial dressing is removed. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for the first two weeks following the surgery, after which light exercise can be resumed. Sports and heavy exercise can be resumed after four weeks.
Any pain or discomfort following your otoplasty surgery can be managed through medications Dr. Bottger will prescribe.
Risks of Ear Surgery
Otoplasty is a very safe procedure, but as with any surgery, there are certain risks of complications that may occur. These can include:
- Bleeding or hematoma
- Unfavorable scarring
- Asymmetry or unfavorable shape
Severe complications are possible but highly unlikely as long as you choose an experienced and capable plastic surgeon. Dr. Bottger has performed many ear surgeries on adults and children, and knows how to choose the right candidate and minimize the risk of complications.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
If the appearance of your ears bothers you, you may be a good candidate for otoplasty. Other characteristics of an ideal otoplasty candidate can include:
- General good health
- Over the age of 5
- Understands the potential risks
- Has realistic expectations
Children generally should be over the age of 5 before undergoing otoplasty, because that is the age when the ears usually stop their development. Undergoing otoplasty surgery before the ears have finished fully developing can cause results to warp as the ear grows.
Adults who wish to have ear surgery should ideally be non-smokers. If you do smoke, you should be able to quit for some time before and after surgery in order to reduce the risk of complications and help with healing.
Cost of Otoplasty
Although costs for otoplasty surgery vary depending on a number of factors, in general the total cost including surgeon’s fees, anesthesia fees, operating room fees, and post-operative care is around $6,000. Otoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure, so insurance usually does not cover it.
Dr. Bottger offers plastic surgery financing plans through healthcare companies such as CareCredit to help patients and parents afford the cost of otoplasty. If you are concerned about cost, please discuss financing with Dr. Bottger during your consultation.
Schedule Your Otoplasty Consultation
If you would like to correct your abnormally shaped ears, contact Dr. Bottger at 610-355-1929 today to schedule your consultation. We serve patients in Philadelphia, Newtown Square, and other nearby areas of Pennsylvania.