What is an otoplasty?
An otoplasty is the reshaping or reconstructing of the ear using plastic surgery techniques in order to achieve a more normal appearing ear.
What is the most common reason for an otoplasty?
The most common cause is a child born with ears that protrude excessively from the side of the head. Correction allows an individual the option of wearing their hair in any style without having to camouflage protruding ears and may help prevent verbal abuse from peers.
How is an otoplasty done?
In adults an otoplasty may be done with local anesthesia. In children, the most common age group, we use a general anesthetic. The primary deformity, a missing fold on the outer ear, is surgically created. This brings the rim of the ear much closer to the side of the head. Other parts of the ear may also be adjusted by modifying the shape of the cartilage to reduce projection from the hear. The surgery is done via an incision behind the ear so scars are very minimal. The external sutures are dissolvable so there are no sutures to remove.
Are the otoplasty results permanent?
The results are considered permanent after healing takes place. However, careful post-operative care to protect the ear from injury is important, particularly with teenage boys. The reshaped cartilage for the ear heals in the new position but is initially secured only by sutures and a light dressing. To become fixed in the new shape takes 6-8 weeks.
What post-operative care is needed?
A head dressing covering the ears is used for one week. Showers start at one week. Care of the incision will be given at the time of surgery. Only a comfortable joggers head band is needed for the next few weeks. By 6-8 weeks sports may resume.
(Click photo to enlarge.)
Ear Lobe Repair
From time to time the delicate tissue of the earlobe will tear because of the weight of the earrings worn. When this happens the ear lobe needs to be repaired and may be done in the office at your convenience.
An earlobe repair is not covered by insurance but after a consultation with Dr. Hobbs, he will be able to tell you the details of procedure, including the cost. A consultation fee will be put toward your surgery if you should decide to have it fixed by Dr. Hobbs
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