Otoplasty

Consultations offered at our three convenient locations in San Diego, La Jolla and Del Mar, CA

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Otoplasty, which is sometimes referred to as ear pinning, is the general term used to describe a surgery to correct the shape, position, or proportion of your ears. For example, if your ears stick out too much or they’re simply too large, an otoplasty can correct these issues. In fact, an otoplasty can help those who have more severe deformities in their ears, whether they were born with them or an accident caused the problem.

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.

We offer different types of ear plastic surgery, and happy to sit down with you to review your concerns and your goals. In most cases, we are able to perform the surgery in our office surgical suite, but for more complex cases are performed in a hospital setting.

Most ear plastic surgeries involve making an incision on the back side of your ear so that the surgeon can thin or cut away the cartilage to give your ear a more normal position and configuration. Our surgeons use stitches to hold your cartilage in place and to close the incision. Afterward, they apply a dressing around your head so that both ears can be protected and the swelling and discomfort limited.

About

There are several variations of deformity of the ears, each of which must be treated in a different manner. Basically, otoplasty is performed to correct excess protrusion of the ears and place them in a more normal, less conspicuous position.

In an ideal world, your ears blend into your head without becoming the centers of attraction. Unfortunately, some ears don’t cooperate or you may have overdone it with your earrings. Whatever the case, if the shape of your ears is an issue Prime Plastic Surgery can help. From reshaping ears to repairing earlobes, our surgeons provide a comprehensive suite of ear surgery options to patients around the country. To learn more, call the office or use the online scheduling button. Please visit our photo gallery to see thousands of patient before and after images.

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.

Treatments Areas

Patients seek the help of a plastic surgeon to correct many problems with their earlobes, such as:

  • They’re naturally too big
  • They hang too low
  • Prolonged use of heavy earrings
  • Torn or split earlobes
  • Large piercings

If you’re dissatisfied with the appearance of your earlobes, the odds are that Prime Plastic Surgery can help with a simple, in-office earlobe surgery.

Procedure

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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.

The operation takes approximately 1 and 1/2 hours to complete and is not painful. If reshaping or resizing of the ears is necessary, the highly customized surgery can be expected to take 2-3 hours. The procedure consists of an incision on the back side of the ear, with the removal of a small segment of skin. The cartilage is exposed, and it is thinned or cut so that the ear will be placed in a normal position and have a normal configuration. Stitches are used to hold the cartilage in place and to close the skin incision. A bulky type dressing is applied completely around the head so that both ears can be protected, swelling minimized and discomfort limited.

Earlobe Repair

There are several variations of ear lobe repair surgery performed to either fix a torn, split, or stretched earlobe or to reduce the size. Some individuals are born with larger ear lobes and wish to have their ear lobe size surgically reduced due to self consciousness. Other individuals have split or torn ear lobes from either extended use of heaving earrings or pulling/tugging of the ear lobes, while some have stretched or gauged ear lobes from the continuing extension of an ear piercing. Either way all of these situations can be addressed most of the time through an earlobe repair procedure.

Candidates

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.

Consultation

Your surgeon 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, our surgeons are accustomed to working with young patients and is sensitive to their fears and concerns. They give all patients the information they need to feel at ease about the surgery.

Recovery

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, your surgeon will let you know when these activities can be resumed.

Post-Op Care Instructions

Otoplasty Post Op Care Instructions

  1. Sleeping in an upright position for 1 week after surgery.

  2. No driving for 1 week post surgery or until off narcotic pain medication completely, and can respond to an emergency.

  3. Please take the medications as directed. Antibiotic medication is for 3 days, pain, nausea and Valium medication are taken as needed. Never on an empty stomach and always space out the medications.

  4. Constipation is very common due to the pain medication and anesthesia, please use Colace over the counter or any laxative that has worked with you in the past. You may start taking something to help prevent constipation 2-3 days post surgery.

  5. If you develop a rash or think you are having an allergic reaction to the medication please call our office immediately. Sometimes Benadryl will help.

  6. No ocean water or pool water for 6 weeks post surgery or until the incision is fully healed.

  7. No tanning or sun exposure to the incision until the your incision has healed completely.

  8. Please do not put scar creams or ointments on the incision immediately after surgery, you may irritate the area or cause an allergic reaction.

  9. Patients will wear a head dressing for 3 days. The head dressing will be removed on your first post op visit. The post op visit is normally 3 days post surgery.

  10. You may expect to be swollen for a few weeks. This is why it will also take time to see the final results for the otoplasty surgery.

  11. The ears may look pined back right after the head dressing removal. It takes time for the final shape.

  12. You may start to shower after the head dressing has been removed. Please note that you will have some dry blood. When you shower, the water may seem tinted.

  13. No active sports or running activity for at least 3 weeks.

  14. Patients need to wear a head band at night time for 2 weeks after the head dressing comes off.

  15. For Scar treatment, you can use prescription strength medication that helps prevent keloiding and redness or you may also use anything that has worked for you in the past. Scars will look their worst and angry looking closer to 2 months post surgery.

  16. You may start using scar creams when the Dermabond has come off and when there is no more scabs on the incision line. That is usually at about 2-3 weeks post surgery.

  17. If there is redness on the incision line or it feels tender, please call our office and send photos.

  18. Incision lines and final results may take up to about a year.

  19. Please keep in touch via email, and send photos, then continue to send photos at your  1 month, 2ndmonth, month, 6th month…etc.

  20. Please call us with any concerns Mon-Friday 8:30am-5:30 pm Saturdays from 9:00am-12pm at 619- 466-8851.

  21. If you would like to blog or write a testimonial of your experience in our office please see the following websites

FAQ

What is recovery like after ear surgery?

The answer to this depends upon the type of surgery you undergo. For minor earlobe repair, you may feel some discomfort afterward, but you can usually return to your normal activities fairly quickly.
If you’ve had a more extensive otoplasty, you may need to take it easy for a few days.
In both cases, you need to take care of your incisions and avoid getting the area wet while it heals. Our team supplies you with everything you need to know, and they’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.
If you’d like to make a change to the appearance of your ears, call Prime Plastic Surgery or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment to discuss your ear plastic surgery options.