Otoplasty (Ear Pinning)
Protruding or abnormally shaped ears can negatively affect how a child or adult feels about themselves. Generally, ears should be located 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, 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.
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 I have admitting privileges. Local anesthesia combined with sedation is used for adults and young children, while general anesthesia is 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 surgery?
One of the benefits of Otoplasty surgery is the quick recovery time. Most adults can return back 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 increase 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 eliminate 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.
Can I have surgery on just one ear?
Even if only one ear protrudes, you will likely need to have surgery on both ears to receive a symmetrical and balanced look. I will make this decision during your consultation in one of my conveniently located offices in the Southside Works, Sewickley, Wexford, or Greensburg areas.
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. I 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.
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, I 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.