Otoplasty is an ear surgery to improve the shape, projection and size of the ears. Frequently called ear pinning, otoplasty is most frequently used to treat children or adults with ears that appear prominent because they protrude away from the head .The goal of the otoplasty is to give the ears a natural shape with normal projection and size while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. With significant auricular deformities, Children and adults suffer a tremendous social embarrassment and social challenges. Treating auricular deformities shows a vast improvement in the Psychosocial environment.
Common concerns treated with otoplasty include:
- Overly large ears — a condition called macrotia
- Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides
- Congenital ear malformations including constricted ear, lop ear and cryptotia
- Uneven ears – size or shape
Incisions for otoplasty are generally made on the back surface of the ear in the groove between the ear and the head. When incisions are necessary on the front of the ear, they are made in hidden places. Non-dissolvable sutures are used to reshape and secure the cartilage in place. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision on the back of the ear. A bulky dressing is worn for 3 days after surgery.
Discomfort immediately following ear surgery is normal and can be controlled with oral pain medication. Children can return to school in 1 week and adults return to work in the same time frame. After the dressings are removed on 3 rd day , headband is worn at night only for 3 months to protect the ears while sleeping. Patients may return to normal exercise in 2 weeks and sports activities in 3 weeks.
The swelling that occurs after surgery is minor, so the changes in the projection and contour of the ears are appreciable immediately after surgery. When the dressings are removed the ears are still swollen but the ear projection and contours will look normal. The majority of the swelling has resolved by 4 weeks after surgery. As the swelling continues to resolve the appearance continues to improve and the contours look even more refined.
Minimal risks associated with this procedure include
- Asymmetry in ear placement -This could occur as a result of changes during the healing process
- Changes in skin sensation
- Overcorrection or under correction
There are plenty of benefits to undergoing ear surgery or otoplasty It can help increase your self-esteem and confidence, especially if you have noticeably protruding and large ears.
There’s no specific ideal age or age restrictions when it comes to receiving otoplasty surgery. In fact, most children around the age 5 are eligible to undergo the surgery as long as their ears are fully developed. Children’s ears usually develop into full-sized adult ears by this time.