Otoplasty is the surgical procedure that repositions protruding ears to make them look normal and not “stick out”. It completes a small fold of the ear that did not occur in development or sets back the actual “bowl” of the ear that is too prominent. This make the ear look perfectly normal and fit with the shape of the head and any hairstyle.
Ear deformities can be emotionally traumatic to anyone, but especially to young school-aged children and teenagers. Parents and friends often don’t realize the degree of emotional damage that misshapen or protruding ears can cause a young person. Children are often made fun of or other children may say they have “Dumbo” ears. Sometimes one ear sticks out dramatically and the other one does not, making it look more unusual. Males are especially vulnerable to comments about their ears due to the typically shorter hairstyles. Females, however, can be most bothered by this problem as they become more mature and desire a shorter hairstyle.
In children, the ear is 90% of its normal size by age 5 or 6. Most people do not realize this. Dr. Perkins recommends that otoplasty be completed before or near the time a child enters school to avoid teasing and ridicule by classmates, however, it can be performed at any later age. Because of the obvious visual and psychological improvements following this procedure, otoplasty is a very rewarding experience for the patient, their parents and the surgeon. The nice thing is that it is a relatively short procedure with an easy recovery.
Otoplasty is Performed On Children and Adults
While otoplasty is most often performed on children, it can be completed at any age, as mentioned above. Many adults desire correction of this lifelong congenital deformity and have “always” wanted their ears pinned back, as it has been bothersome. Even some more mature-aged patients seeking rejuvenation surgery decide to have their ears “pinned back” by the otoplasty technique while undergoing a facelift or other rejuvenation procedure(s). This produces many satisfied patients who have endured protruding ears for most of their lives and no longer have to “hide” them.
Although otoplasty can theoretically be done under a local anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation, it is certainly most comfortable to have a general anesthetic. General anesthesia is definitely administered on children for this procedure. That way, there is no pain or discomfort to having the procedure, and the child is happy with the new appearance of their ears. Patients are very quickly able to get back to their daily activities based on just the first week of healing.
Patients are able to get back to daily activities quickly.