Otoplasty is a surgical procedure used to correct deformities and defects of the outer portion of the ear. Most candidates seek the surgery because the ears are visibly protruding from the head. The surgery can be performed when the ears reach their full size at age six. This procedure is beneficial to set back the ears so they appear proportionate and contoured from a frontal, rear and side perspective.
The surgery takes place behind the ear in the natural fold where the back of the ear is connected to the head. This is where the surgeon will remove cartilage and skin needed to achieve the best effect for the patient. In some cases, the surgeon may trim the cartilage and shape it into a more desirable form before pinning the cartilage back with permanent sutures to secure the cartilage.
After the surgery, soft dressings will be applied to the ears for a few days. Most patients experience mild discomfort, and it may be difficult to sleep on the ears for a week or more. Headbands may be recommended to hold the ears in the desired position for two weeks after the surgery. The risks are fairly minimal, but may include very rare infections, poor healing and the possibility of recurrence of the deformity.
Though this surgical procedure deals with reconstruction of the outer ear, it will not affect the function of hearing. If you or someone you care for may be a candidate for otoplasty, please contact our office at 717-728-9700 to schedule an appointment.