Protruding or overly large ears can result in a lack of self-confidence in both children and adults. Otoplasty, also known as “ear pinning,” is a cosmetic surgery procedure that effectively adjusts and reshapes the ears for a more natural, pleasing appearance.
A variety of cosmetic improvements can be made during otoplasty, however the most common causes of prominent ears are lack of, or a poorly formed, antihelical fold or excess of conchal cartilage. Aging, drooping, or stretched or torn ear lobes can also be reduced or repaired with ear surgery.
For parents who are inquiring about otoplasty for their children, Dr. Sobel considers children over the age of 5 for candidacy for the procedure. As a proud father of two young children, Dr. Sobel requires consent from both the child and his or her parents prior to the procedure.
What to Expect from Ear Surgery
Although there are conventions for the ideal projection of the ear from the bone behind the ear as well as angles for the slope of the ear, Dr. Sobel carefully plans each otoplasty procedure through individualized consultations to achieve the best results for each patient. Surgery is often performed with local anesthesia and IV sedation, though patients may choose general anesthesia if preferred.
Incisions are made just behind the ear in the natural fold where the ear joins the head, and the necessary amounts of cartilage and skin are removed to achieve natural-looking results. The remaining cartilage is then repositioned to create a pleasing shape. If the antihelical fold needs to be enhanced, permanent sutures are passed through the cartilage under the skin to create the fold.
In cases of ear lobe reshaping, tissue is trimmed and rearranged to give a more youthful and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Fine sutures are placed to keep the ear in place while healing occurs. In many cases, the cause of the apparent ear lobe aging is loss of fat, and fat grafting to the earlobe can tremendously rejuvenate the ear.
Soft dressings are applied to the ears then removed in the following days, and patients can be driven home the same day of surgery. Medication is prescribed for any discomfort. For proper healing, it is important that the patient sleep the first night with their head elevated – a recliner serves this purpose very well. We prefer headbands to aid healing. Sutures are self-absorbing, are buried below the skin, and need not be removed.
Is Ear Surgery Right for You?
The goal of ear reshaping surgery in Seattle is a more balanced, attractive appearance, not just of the ears but also of the entire face. Correcting protruding or aging ears helps achieve an improved physical appearance and an improved feeling of self-esteem with otoplasty. Dr. Sobel has performed thousands of cosmetic procedures with excellent results. If you have been considering this procedure for yourself or a loved one, trust his experience and the care with which he treats each patient.
Contact us to schedule your personalized consultation with Dr. Sobel and we will be in touch with you shortly!
Frequently Asked Questions About Ear Surgery
How long do I have to sleep with a protective ear band at night after ear surgery?
For approximately 6-8 weeks in order to protect the ear(s) while you are sleeping.
Is there a scar after ear surgery?
In most cases, the incision is placed behind the ear, hidden in the natural crease.
Is there any way that the ear can go back to its original form after otoplasty?
The cartilage in the ear has what is called “memory”. Although a small amount of cartilage may be removed during surgery, without proper care the ear can resume its original shape.