Otoplasty / Ear Surgery

Otoplasty is a procedure to shape the ear to a more normal appearance and to bring the ear back toward the scalp to a more normal location. Patients seeking otoplasty usually have adequate cartilage that simply has not developed a normal curvature and positioning. The portion of anatomy that is usually under developed is called the antihelical fold.

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis during which the cartilage is reshaped and curved. Some surgeons advocate sharp cutting which leaves a natural sharp or straight line. This is avoided by using a gentle, cartilage curving technique and sutures that are invisible and placed behind the ear. The skin incision is located behind the ear and is almost impossible to see. Recovery is rapid and pain is minimal.

Otoplasty is most commonly performed on young patients but is also recommended for adults, many of whom have been self conscious about the appearance of their ears since childhood. If a patient has previously undergone a prominent ear correction that was unsuccessful, it can usually be corrected with the use of the gentle, cartilage curving technique. The patient can typically shower soon following surgery and resume normal activities quickly. We ask our patients to wear a headband during the evening and when they sleep for six weeks following surgery to mold the cartilage into its new position.

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