Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)
Excessively large or protruding ears are often a source of ridicule, teasing, and embarrassment. Aesthetic ear surgery, called otoplasty, can reshape the “outstanding” ear by altering its size, position, or configuration. The improvement, which lasts a lifetime, usually results in less self-consciousness and greater self-confidence.
Who Needs Ear Surgery?
Adults or children with ears that protrude or are misshapen or mismatched can benefit from otoplasty. While ear surgery can be performed at any age, it is important to consider whether the ear has achieved its nearly normal adult size, which usually occurs after five years of age.
Undergoing the procedure at a young age has two benefits: The cartilage is extremely pliable, allowing greater ease of shaping, and the young patient will experience the psychological benefits of the cosmetic improvement for his or her entire lifetime.
Of course, the surgery is also often performed on adults.
Your Ear Surgery Consultation
Dr. Singer will listen carefully to what you desire and expect from ear surgery. He will conduct a thorough evaluation and devise a surgical plan to create a more normal appearance to the ears.
While most procedures are performed on adults, Dr. Singer is accustomed to working with young patients and is sensitive to their fears and concerns. He gives all patients the information they need to feel at ease about the surgery.
The Ear Surgery Procedure
Incisions for ear surgery can usually be placed in hidden areas, such as within the folds of the ear or behind the ears. For protruding ears, the incisions are generally placed behind the ears. This is sometimes called “ear pinning,” in which the ears are permanently, internally sutured so that they remain in their new placement. These sutures are not visible.
If only pinning is required, the surgery should take 1-2 hours. If reshaping or resizing of the ears is necessary, the highly customized surgery can be expected to take 2-3 hours.
Before & After Photos
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Anesthesia at our Accredited Operating Facility
At our AAAASF-accredited (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities) private operating facility in La Jolla, you will be taken care of by thoroughly trained personnel, including carefully selected, experienced, board-certified physician anesthesiologists.
Most of our patients are anesthetized using sedation, allowing them to be asleep while breathing on their own, but usually not requiring deeper general anesthesia. In the case of younger patients, however, general anesthesia is often preferred. We will discuss these options with you during your consultation.
Recovery from Ear Surgery
In most cases, our patients are able to return to work or school within just a few days after otoplasty. We can provide medication to keep the patient’s discomfort to a minimum. There may be some swelling and bruising, but this does not usually last more than a couple of weeks.
Bandages will be applied to the ears. The patient should not wear ear phones or sleep on his/her side during the healing process. Strenuous exercise should also be avoided for a few weeks. During one of your follow-up examinations, Dr. Singer will let you know when these activities can be resumed.