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Fortunately, ear surgery, also known as otoplasty surgery, can be a wonderful solution to those suffering with this cosmetic deformity. Otoplasty surgery can reposition the ears and reduce their size so that the ears appear less prominent and more in proportion with the face.

For more information on our Pittsburgh otoplasty procedures from our experienced facial plastic surgeon, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Leong at Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery, please contact us today.

Who is a good candidate for otoplasty surgery?

Healthy men, women, and children with protruding ears or congenital deformities who have realistic expectations of results are all typically excellent candidates for otoplasty surgery. Children as young as 5-6 years old are often eligible for the procedure, because at this time their ears have usually reached their full adult size.

Otoplasty Pittsburgh

Otoplasty Video

Otoplasty Pittsburgh

Learn more about detailed information involved in otoplasty.

Where is otoplasty surgery performed?

Otoplasty surgery can be done in our state-of-the-art outpatient center or one of the local area hospitals where Dr. Leong has admitting privileges. Local anesthesia combined with sedation is used for adults and young children, while general anesthesia may be administered to young children. The entire procedure usually takes 2-3 hours and depends on the techniques being used and the level of correction needed for each individual patient.

What is the recovery time after ear surgery?

One of the benefits of our otoplasty in Pittsburgh is the quick recovery time. Most adults can return to work within a few days, while children typically require one week off before returning back to school. Regularly following post-op instructions such as eliminating strenuous activity, getting plenty of rest, eating healthy, and avoiding smoking, alcohol, or blood thinning medications will decrease recovery time and help the body heal faster. If you are a side sleeper, it is recommended that you sleep on your back in the days following surgery to reduce pressure on your ears.

Will others notice that I have had otoplasty surgery?

After surgery, your ears will be wrapped up in a gauze bandage for approximately 3-5 days. This helps the healing process by protecting the incision and reducing the chance of infection. Swelling and some discoloration around the ears is normal and will dissipate within a few days. Once the bandage is removed, you will see a small incision behind the ear. Over time, this should heal into a thin, white scar. Since this is located in the crease of the ear, it will be very difficult to detect.

Otoplasty Pittsburgh

What are the risks associated with otoplasty surgery?

As with any surgery, there are possible risks and complications. Risks include but are not limited to: infection, swelling, bleeding, scarring, numbness, keloid formation, blood clot formation, or poor cosmetic outcome. Dr. Leong will thoroughly discuss all possible side effects with you before the procedure and all pre-op and post-op instructions. Serious side effects are often less likely when surgery is performed by a facial plastic surgeon with extensive training of the head and neck—such as Dr. Leong.

Paul Leong MD FACS

The Facial Specialist

Dr. Leong completed his medical degree at the Yale University School of Medicine. He then dedicated the next seven years honing his skills specifically in head, face, and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh—a university consistently ranked among the top five otolaryngology programs in the country. Dr. Leong continued to develop his surgical skills through a fellowship in Advanced Oncologic Surgery of the Head and Neck at the Pittsburgh Medical Center. This was followed by yet another fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Oregon Health Sciences University.

Does insurance cover this procedure?

If otoplasty surgery is performed for medical reasons, it can be covered by insurance. However, if your goal is cosmetic enhancement, it will not be covered by insurance. During your consultation, Dr. Leong will determine if any medical procedures will be necessary and, if so, have one of our patient care coordinators follow up with your insurance company to see if it is covered under your plan.

What is the cost of otoplasty in Pittsburgh?

There are several things that factor into the price for an otoplasty. One factor is geographic location. Another is the experience and skill level of the board-certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon performing the surgery. Lastly, the price of this procedure will depend on the extent of surgery necessary to achieve optimal results.

In Pittsburgh, the cost of otoplasty can range from $9,500-$13,000. During your thorough consultation with Dr. Leong and his team, a price for this procedure will be discussed in detail and will include all fees (anesthesia, facility, and professional). For additional questions, please contact our office at 412-693-6475.

Before & After

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Before & After

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What should I avoid doing after receiving ear surgery?

  • Don’t sleep on the side of your face — keep the back of your head on the pillow.
  • Don’t lie down on a flat surface — keep your head elevated on pillows or a recliner for at least the first week after the surgery.
  • Avoid all physical activities and work for at least 7 days after the surgery.
  • Don’t stand up suddenly from a lying position — sit down for a minute, and then gently stand up.
  • Don’t shower the day of the surgery — you can shower from the next day.
  • Avoid strenuous workouts for at least 2 weeks.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects for at least 3 weeks.
  • Don’t wear clothes that you have to pull over your head for at least 2 weeks.
  • Don’t chew hard foods for at least 2 weeks.
  • Avoid contact sports for at least 6 weeks.

How is ear surgery performed?

Otoplasty is performed as an in-office and outpatient procedure, and it usually takes 1 to 3 hours. It’s generally performed under local anesthesia with sedatives, though, in some cases, general anesthesia may be used. The specific techniques used for the surgery depend on your specific situation and requirements. However, all surgeries follow the same general outline.

The following are the steps involved in ear surgery:

  • The surgeon places you under local or general anesthesia.
  • The surgeon makes an incision on the back of your ear or within the folds of your ear.
  • Excess cartilage or skin tissues may be removed from the ears.
  • The cartilage is folded or shaped with permanent stitches according to the desired goals.
  • In some cases, cartilage grafting may be used to enhance the ears.
  • The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures.
  • Dressings are placed over your ears.

Can I use headphones after receiving ear surgery?

You can wear earphones after the otoplasty if approved by the surgeon. However, you should avoid wearing over-the-ear headphones for at least one month after the ear surgery. You must consult your surgeon before using headphones or earphones or wearing jewelry and other objects on your ear. At every stage of the recovery, you must consult with your surgeon to ensure you have a smooth recovery without complications.

Now Serving Morgantown

Dr. Paul Leong is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing exclusively in aesthetic facial plastic surgery. With an international reputation for the quality of his ear surgery, Dr. Leong’s practice has a regional scope, drawing patients from well beyond Pittsburgh. To better serve his patients in the region, Dr. Leong has expanded with an additional office in Morgantown, WV.


Contact Sistine Plastic Surgery

If you would like to learn more about otoplasty and ear surgery procedures, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Leong, please contact Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery.

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

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Important message to all of our patients

Dr. Leong and his team are happy to announce, we are open and seeing patients for all surgical and non-surgical consults. The summer surgery schedule is rapidly filling up. Please call or contact us today to schedule your consultation.

We are following all state and federal guidelines for your protection and safety, including but not limited to: wearing gloves and masks, providing hand sanitizer, frequent cleaning, wiping down and sanitizing of all contact surfaces. As well as will maintain all standard Social Distancing protocols. Patients should not come in if achy, feverish or coughing or COVID positive test for active infection.

We are still utilizing virtual consultations, including to obtain initial information about treatment plans for new and returning patients. Our goal is to find the best balance between being available to our patients and maximizing their safety.

Please call our office or select the “Video Consultations Tab” to schedule a video discussion.

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