Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, reduces protrusion of the ears.
Reasons to Consider Ear Surgery
- Bring proportion and balance to the face if the ears “stick out” too much
- Correct folded ear tips (lop ear)
- Reshape long or offset earlobes
- Enhance very small ears or other congenital defects
- Remedy an accidental injury, including the loss of an ear
The standard otoplasty procedure brings the ears closer to the head. The procedure takes between one and two hours and is usually performed under local anesthesia at our Oahu office. There are several surgical techniques available to correct irregularities other than protruding ears. These techniques can be discussed with Dr. Strasberger during your initial consultation.
Planning for Surgery
Ear surgery or otoplasty is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. Ears are almost fully grown by age four, so the operation is done on children between ages of four and fourteen. Ear surgery is also possible in adults with fewer risks. You have to be clear about what and how you want your ear to be.
When a qualified and experienced surgeon such as Dr. Strasberger performs the ear surgery, the complications and risks involved are usually minor. Patients may develop a blood clot on the ear. It can dissolve naturally or drawn out with a needle. The patient may develop an infection in the cartilage, which can cause scar tissue to form. However, these cases are rare.
The surgery usually takes two or three hours, the technique depends on the problem. In one of the more common techniques, Dr. Strasberger makes a small incision in the back of the car to expose the car cartilage. Dr. Strasberger will sculpt the cartilage and bend it back towards the head. The stitches which are non removable may be used to help maintain the new shape. Some times as large piece of the cartilage is removed to give a more natural looking fold, when the surgery is complete. In another technique, a similar incision is made in the back of the ear. Skin is removed and stitches are used to fold the cartilage back on itself to reshape the ear without removing cartilage. The surgery will leave a faint sear in the back of the ear, which will fade with time.
The patients is usually up and around within a few hours of surgery. If you prefer you may stay overnight in the hospital until all the effects of general anesthesia wear off. To promote best molding and healing, the patients head is wrapped in a bulky bandage. The pain in the ear can be relived by medication. Within a few days the bulky bandage will be replaced by a lighter dressing similar to a headband. The dressing should be worn day and night stitches will be removed or will dissolve in about a week. For about a month, avoid any activity which will make your ear bend. Adults can go back o work five days. Children can go back to school after a week. Most patients are satisfied with the results of ear surgery. Be realistic in your goals and don’t expect a perfect symmetric in both ears. The goal of the surgery is improvement not perfection.