Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) and Earlobe Repair
- Earlobe Repair
Repair of a torn earlobe consists of freshening the edges of the split and placement of stitches to complete the repair of the earlobe
- Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a good candidate for ear plastic surgery?
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is most often performed on children between the ages four and 14, although it is not uncommon for adults to have this surgery. Often protruding ears can be the cause of teasing and embarrassment for elementary-school-aged children and otoplasty may be the solution.
However, it is very important that parents are alert to their child's feelings about protruding ears. The surgery is best performed on children who are mature enough to understand that their ears are different, and genuinely want to undergo surgery. In this case, children are generally more cooperative during preparation and surgery and happier with the results afterward.
What does ear plastic surgery involve?
During otoplasty your surgeon will reduce the size of prominent ears and sets them back so that they rest closer to the head. First, an incision is made in the back of the ear. The cartilage is then sculpted or bent back toward the head. Some cartilage may or may not be removed, depending upon the size of the ear and desired results.
The procedure takes between two to three hours and may be inpatient or outpatient. Young children are given general anesthesia and older children or adults are given general or local anesthesia with sedation.
What should I do in the time leading up to my surgery?
Your doctor will give you instructions preparing for surgery and guidelines on eating, smoking, drinking and medications or vitamins to take or avoid taking. You will want to arrange for someone to drive you home following your procedure.
What should I expect following surgery?
Immediately following surgery, the surgeon will wrap the patient's head in a bulky bandage that ensures correct molding and healing of the ears. This can be replaced by a lighter weight dressing after a couple of days.
Side effects are controllable by medication and may include throbbing, aching, swelling, redness or numbness. Stitches will be removed or dissolve in a week. You may return to work or school within five to seven days and more strenuous activity can be resumed after one or two months.
In general, you should avoid activity that risks bending of the ear. Children can go back to school, but they should be careful on the playground. You may want to alert the teacher so that he or she can monitor your child's activity for a few weeks.
Risks of otoplasty include infection of cartilage, excessive scarring, blood clot that may need to be drained, mismatched or artificial-looking ears, injury to facial nerve causing loss of motion, or recurrence of protrusion requiring a repeat surgery.