• Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. It can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth, or it can treat misshapen ears caused by injury.

    Ear surgery creates a more natural shape, while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have profound benefits to appearance and self-esteem.

    If protruding or disfigured ears bother you or your child, you may consider plastic surgery.

    Ear surgery can treat:

    • Overly large ears — a condition called macrotia
    • Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees — not associated with hearing loss
    • Adult dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery

    Ear surgery candidates

    Children who are good candidates for ear surgery are:

    • Healthy, without a life-threatening illness or untreated chronic ear infections
    • Generally 5 years old, or when a child’s ear cartilage is stable enough for correction
    • Cooperative and follow instructions well
    • Able to communicate their feelings and do not voice objections when surgery is discussed

    Teenagers and adults who are good candidates for ear surgery are:

    • Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
    • Non-smokers
    • Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for ear surgery

    Ear surgery recovery

    Discomfort immediately following ear surgery is normal and can be controlled with pain medication. There may be an itchy feeling under bandages. It is essential that bandages remain intact and are not removed, for any reason. Failure to do so may result in loss of some of the correction and may require a secondary surgery.

    Ear surgery results

    Ear surgery offers almost immediate results in cases of protruding ears, visible when the dressings that support the new shape of the ear during initial phases of healing are removed. With the ear permanently positioned closer to the head, surgical scars are either hidden behind the ear or well hidden within the natural creases of the ear.

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