Protruding or abnormally shaped ears can negatively affect how a child or adult feels about themselves. Generally, ears should be positioned close to the side of the head. When the ears are prominent or stick out, children and adults often unfortunately endure the brunt of sarcastic remarks and offensive jokes that negatively impact their psychological well-being and lowers self-esteem.
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.
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.
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 $4,000-$9,500. 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.
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.