The surgical reshaping or pinning back of the outer ear (medical term “otoplasty”) is a commonly performed plastic surgery procedure. Many people are very unhappy with the size, shape, or prominence of their ears.
Ears that stick out are typically considered a flaw, and those who have prominent ears often feel less than confident about their appearance. A simple surgical procedure can correct the shape, size, and make them less prominent, creating a more balanced, harmonious facial appearance. Ear surgery can resolve the following conditions:
Rather than struggling with stick-out ears by hiding them with certain hairstyles, wearing a hat, scarf, or other methods, you can be free of the problem with a correctly performed ear pinning surgery. The first step is a consultation with Dr. Jeremy White, our board-certified plastic surgeon.
He will carefully evaluate your individual situation and explain exactly how the procedure will be performed, as well as answer all of your questions and concerns. Call today to find out more about ear surgery for yourself or your child. It is important that you have this procedure done by a highly-skilled plastic surgeon. The outcome can vary, and as the ears are an important facial feature, you want to achieve the most attractive result possible.
Ear surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. After surgery, it is normal to feel some level of discomfort, which is easily managed with pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. As the ears heal, the incision site will begin to feel itchy, a symptom of the healing process. It is vital that the bandage applied for the first night remains in place and is not removed. As with any surgical procedure, following your doctor’s orders exactly is important.
Within 24 to 72 hours, the swelling will begin to reduce. During this period, patients can wear a headband (ski-style) to hold the ears in place. Avoid any bouncing actions, or lowering the head below the level of the heart over the recovery period. After about one to two weeks (for most patients) the swelling is reduced, and the visible signs of surgery gone. The ears may feel tender for longer, as the healing process completes. Do not perform any vigorous exercise for three weeks after surgery, and plan to return to work or school about two to three days after surgery.
Ear surgery to pin the ears back can be appropriate for children, adolescents, and adults. The first step is a full medical evaluation, including a review of the health history of the patient. A child must be five or six years old so that the ear cartilage has become stable and has finished most of its growth. In any cosmetic procedure, it is important that the patient is in good overall health, and is not suffering from a medical condition that makes surgery high risk. If you are unhappy with ears that stick out, you are probably a candidate for ear surgery.
For surgery to pin back protruding ears, the patient will need anesthetic. The type of anesthetic will be selected based upon the patient, and can include local, intravenous tranquilizer sedation, or in some cases, general anesthetic. Once the patient is anesthetized and comfortable, the surgeon will correct the appearance of the ears with an incision to increase the fold that pulls the ears back towards the head. This incision is on the back of the ear. Once the ear is reshaped and the fold corrected, non-removable sutures (stitches) are applied to the new fold in place. Each ear takes about 45 minutes to correct. The results of the surgery can be seen immediately. During the initial healing period, the incision will need to be protected with a dressing (bandage).
If you’re considering plastic surgery, choosing the right plastic surgeon could not be more important. Dr. Jeremy White is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the 2021 Doctor’s Choice Award Miami, the 2016 RealSelf Top 500, and the prestigious Castle Connolly Top Doctors Award Winner in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. We invite you to have a consultation about the procedure you need. Schedule your consultation today.