Otoplasty refers to the surgical reshaping of the pinna or outer ear. The aim may be to correct a deformity or to improve appearance. Reconstructive surgery involves building up the outer ear after an accident or because of a congenital deformity.
Otoplasty — also known as cosmetic ear surgery — is a procedure to change the shape, position or size of the ears.
You might choose to have otoplasty if you’re bothered by how far your ears stick out from your head. You might also consider otoplasty if your ear or ears are misshapen due to an injury or birth defect.
Otoplasty can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size — usually after age 5 — through adulthood. In some cases, the surgery is done as early as age 3.
If a child is born with prominent ears and certain other ear-shape problems, splinting may successfully correct these issues if started immediately after birth.
Why it’s done
You might consider otoplasty if:
- Your ear or ears stick out too far from your head
- Your ears are large in proportion to your head
- You’re dissatisfied with a previous ear surgery
Otoplasty is typically done on both ears to optimize symmetry.
Otoplasty can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size — usually after age 5.
Otoplasty won’t change the location of your ears or alter your ability to hear.
Otoplasty poses various risks, including:
- While scars are permanent, they’ll likely be hidden behind your ears or within the creases of your ears.
- Asymmetry in ear placement. This could occur as a result of changes during the healing process. Also, surgery might not successfully correct pre-existing asymmetry.
- Changes in skin sensation. During otoplasty, the repositioning of your ears can temporarily affect skin sensation in the area. Rarely, changes are permanent.
- Problems with stitches. Stitches used to secure the ear’s new shape might work their way to the surface of the skin and need to be removed. This can cause inflammation of the affected skin. As a result, you might need additional surgery.
- Otoplasty can create unnatural contours that make ears appear to be pinned back.
Like any other type of major surgery, otoplasty poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to the surgical tape or other materials used during or after the procedure.
What is the recovery time for otoplasty?
Though recovery is unique for every patient, you can expect to return to work and any light activity after one week. In two weeks, your final results will be visible, though small changes to the ears can occur for up to twelve months.
Is otoplasty a safe procedure?
Pinning back the ears is known as an otoplasty, or pinnaplasty. … Most people are happy with the results of an otoplasty, and generally it’s a safe procedure. But it can be expensive and there are still risks to consider.
Otoplasty is normally carried out under general anaesthetic as day surgery. … Post operative pain should be minimal because of local anaesthetic used during the procedure. Discomfort is to be expected but if discomfort increases to pain and persists then your surgeon should be notified.
Can I wear glasses after otoplasty?
The answer is that essentially all otoplasty patients can eventually wear their eyeglasses and sunglasses quite comfortably. … However, most otoplasty patients can resume normal use of their glasses within 2-3 weeks of the surgery.