Otoplasty Surgery (Ear Surgery)

What is otoplasty or ear surgery?

Otoplasty (Ear Surgery) is plastic surgery intended to improve the appearance and shape of the ear caused by congenital deformities in children and teens. In adults, otoplasty is also recommended for ear lobe repair after ear “gauging” (stretching of the ear lobe) or other injuries to the ear.

Otoplasty is complex plastic surgery. There are many parts to the ear that have to be evaluated to determine what the exact anatomical problem is that needs to be corrected.

Otoplasty may require simply “pinning” protruding ears back, reducing or shaping the cartilage, or even adding cartilage grafts in some cases. The goal of otoplasty is to ensure that the ear appears naturally proportionate and contoured and sits neatly against the head without evidence of surgery. After surgery the ears should appear normal from the front, rear and side perspectives.

At what age is ear surgery for children appropriate?

The timing of an otoplasty procedure depends on the severity of the ear deformity. In children with extremely prominent (sticking out) ears, 4-years old and upwards is a good age for surgery.

Non-surgical otoplasty for newborn babies.

Non-surgical otoplasty is possible for newborn babies using the EarWell™ Infant Ear Correction System. If used in the first few weeks of life the procedure can correct over 90% of all infant ear deformities.

The EarWell can often mold deformed ears in babies back to a very nice shape without surgery but it is imperative that babies are referred very early on.

What to expect from your ear surgery.

Otoplasty is a low risk surgery and for adults is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under a local anesthetic with some sedation. The procedure can take 1-2 hours depending on the type of surgery required.

If your child is having otoplasty surgery, a general anesthetic will be used and the procedure will performed in an operating room.