It is quite common for people to feel self conscious about the appearance of their ears. Imperfect ears, such as ones that are too large or too protruding, can become an issue in childhood, and if not corrected may bother a person for their whole life. Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is relatively simple and can even be performed on children. This simple procedure can correct these problems and save a patient from feeling self-conscious and insecure about the appearance of their ears.
The most common type of ear surgery is ear pinning, which corrects protruding ears. In this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision behind the ear where the scar will be hidden in the natural crease. From this access, the surgeon will remove a sliver of cartilage to bring the ear in closer to the head. He may also trim the remaining cartilage to improve the overall shape of the ear. Permanent internal sutures may be used to create natural folds that may have been missing in the ear, and temporary sutures will be used externally until the ear is healed.
Otoplasty can correct ears that are too large, protruding ears, or deformities caused by birth defects or injuries. It is most commonly performed on children and teens, but patients may also be adults who have been bothered by their ears for a long time or who have had ear surgery in the past and are unhappy with it.
As with any surgery, it is important that patients be in generally good health and have reasonable expectations for the outcome of the surgery. When the patient is a child, the surgeon will want to be sure the patient has a reasonable understanding of what is happening and does not seem upset by the idea of undergoing surgery.
If you are interested in whether otoplasty may be right for you or your child, contact with facial plastic surgeon Dr. Sheldon Kabaker of Oakland, California, at (415) 379-9015.