Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a procedure that can improve the appearance of ears that are exceptionally large or protrude farther from the head than the patient would like. This feature is often caused by unusually-shaped cartilage (the strong yet flexible material that gives the ears their structure) and is typically noticeable from an early age. As a result, otoplasty is a common procedure among children and teenagers, as well as adults. The procedure can be performed at any time after a patient’s ear cartilage has developed enough to sustain the new shape, which usually occurs between four and six years old.
The otoplasty procedure can differ based on the individual patient and their aesthetic goals. The incision is typically made on the back of the ear. Depending on what is needed to achieve the desired results, double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. John LeRoy will likely re-shape and remove cartilage as necessary, using internal sutures to secure the ear’s new shape before closing the incision. The procedure can be performed on one ear or both ears, based on the patient’s needs.
In recovering from ear surgery, most patients are able to return to many of their light day-to-day activities approximately one week after their procedure. Throughout your recovery, it’s important to follow all post-operative instructions closely. Dressings should only be removed as directed by Dr. LeRoy, as removing them prematurely can affect how the ear adjusts to its new shape. Patients should also follow close instructions regarding how long they should avoid laying on or putting pressure on the affected ear(s).
The results of otoplasty can be life-changing by restoring patients’ confidence in their appearance. Scarring is minimal and is generally hidden within the natural creases of the back of the ear. Patients should also be aware that otoplasty is not designed to change their hearing ability. While the structure of the ear has some effect on an individual’s hearing, otoplasty generally does not produce a noticeable change in patients’ hearing.
To begin discussing how otoplasty can help you achieve better facial balance and higher self-confidence, contact the office of Dr. John LeRoy to schedule a consultation.