Some may say that getting teased on the playground is a rite of passage: everyone has to go through it. And while no one escapes childhood taunts, some teasing can be very cruel, affecting a child’s self-esteem. Ears that stick out – projecting too far – can be the cause of painful ridicule for children.
Ear reshaping, or otoplasty, reshapes protruding ears and repositions them closer to the head creating a more balanced appearance. An otoplasty also fixes ears that are too large, deformed, missing, or injured. An otoplasty is most commonly performed on children above the ages of five or six (it’s important that the procedure is performed after cartilage stops growing), as well as adults.
What is an otoplasty procedure?
Ear reshaping, when correcting protruding ears, is a surgical procedure performed on an out-patient basis under a local anesthesia. There is no need to spend the night in the hospital. Some children may benefit from having a slight sedative as well, to help them remain still and calm. Incisions are made in the back of the ears (to limit visible scarring) and the cartilage is re-shaped by removing a limited amount of cartilage or another method that allows the ears to lay closer to the head. Sutures not only close the incision but also help to support the new positioning.
Afterwards the head is bandaged to reduce swelling and promote healing. Most patients take four to five days off before returning to school or work. More strenuous activities can be resumed in two to three weeks.
What are the potential risks and complications of an otoplasty?
All surgeries come with some level of risks. With an otoplasty there is some risk of infection or hematoma, however, this is very rare. It is important to follow your physician’s post-op instructions, including taking any antibiotics or needed pain medication. Sleeping with your head elevated for several days will also help the healing process.
Overall, otoplasty patients tend to be highly satisfied with the results. Having one’s ears reshaped can re-instill self-confidence and create an over-all nicer appearance.
Call us today to schedule your consultation for otoplasty with Dr. Boris Volshteyn, our board certified plastic surgeon. 732-641-3350