Otoplasty: Answers to Your Questions About This Trending Surgery

Otoplasty, also known as ear surgery, helps resize, reshape, and reposition the ear. Per the American Academy for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, seven percent of AAFPRS surgeons reported seeing a drastic increase in requests for this surgery. Are your ears a source of embarrassment? Learn more about this trending facial plastic surgery.

At What Age Can a Child Have Ear Surgery?

Many parents want to schedule an otoplasty to keep their child from suffering emotional pain caused when peers pick on the child’s protruding ears. This is a common reason for the surgery, but as otoplasty is a surgical procedure, the child must be mentally and physically prepared to handle the surgery and recovery.

The best way to answer this question is to decide along with your facial plastic surgeon if he or she is a good candidate for otoplasty. Generally, a child’s ears stop developing at the age of seven. Until your child is capable of understanding the surgery, you can use longer hairstyles to keep the ears hidden.

What Steps Are Taken During Otoplasty?

The surgery begins with the administration of anesthesia. Talk to your facial plastic surgeon about your options, which usually include a sedative and local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Once you are comfortable, the surgeon makes an incision behind your ear. Cartilage and excess skin are excised. If needed, the surgeon also sculpts the cartilage to reshape the ear. The incision is stitched up, and bandages are wrapped around the head.

How Long Does it Take to Recover?

On the day after the surgery, you will return to the surgeon to have the bandages removed. The ear and incisions are examined and new bandages are put in place for another three or four days. Any discomfort is controlled with pain medications. Following the final removal of the bandage, a sweatband is worn over the ears for four to six weeks.

Will People See the Scars?

About six weeks after your ear surgery, your scar will be at its most noticeable point. It will appear firm and red, but as time passes this minimizes. By the six month mark, you’ll start to see what the final scar will look like. Typically, the scar is located in creases behind the ear, so it’s unlikely anyone will notice them, and you yourself will need mirrors to see the scars.

After Otoplasty, Can My Ears Grow Bigger?

While the ears will never protrude from your head again, the cartilage will continue to grow bigger as you become an elderly adult.

How Much Does Otoplasty Cost?

Most health insurance companies only cover the cost of otoplasty if it is needed due to a birth defect or trauma. Therefore, you should plan to pay for this surgery out of your own pocket. According to the AAFPRS, the average cost is $3,500, but Oakland, California’s, Dr. Sheldon Kabaker will be able to give you a better idea of the cost during your consultation. Operating room charges and anesthesia costs are in addition to the quoted average cost.

Check out these otoplasty before and after pictures. Dr. Kabaker offers otoplasty in San Francisco and Oakland. Dr. Kabaker is an AAFPRS facial plastic surgeon with decades of experience as a board certified facial plastic surgeon. To learn more about the difference ear surgery can make in your life, call Dr. Kabaker’s office at (415) 379-9015.

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