Otoplasty is a form of plastic surgery, although quite distinct from other types of cosmetic surgery. Otoplasty is a procedure that alters or corrects the shape and size of the ears to make them more balanced with the rest of the head. Otoplasty can be a big boost to your confidence if you don’t like the size or projection of your ears. Here, we’ll go through some of the basics of otoplasty, including what causes it and how it’s done.
Types of Otoplasty
There are a few different types of otoplasty, and each can be used to improve the look of your ears:
- Ear Pinning: Ear pinning is the most common type of otoplasty, also called ear tucking. This procedure fixes protruding ears by repositioning and pinning the ear back closer to the head. It can help with asymmetrical or unequal ears.
- Ear reduction: If the ears are overly large or if one ear is much larger than the other, an otoplasty can reduce the size of the ear. The excess skin and cartilage are shaved off, which reduces its size and brings it into better balance with the rest of the head.
These two techniques are sometimes performed together if you have overlapping concerns like size and projection.
How to Prepare for Otoplasty
Before the surgery, you’ll undergo a series of examinations with Dr. Leland Deane to ensure you are healthy enough for the procedure. Then you’ll discuss your medical history and goals for this procedure to ensure it’s the best option for you. The day before the surgery, do not drink any alcohol and stop smoking. Smoking can cause complications during surgery. Otoplasty is typically not performed using general anesthesia so there will not be limits on what you can eat before surgery – however, it can be helpful to plan on eating only a light meal in case you become nervous.
The procedure can be performed right in our comfortable office. During otoplasty, an incision will be made behind the ear. The cartilage and skin causing the ear to stick out will then be trimmed or folded inwards so that it lies flat against the head. Sutures and surgical tape will be used to close up the incisions after the surgery. These sutures are usually removed after two weeks, while surgical tape can stay on for two months.
What to Expect After Otoplasty
You should plan to limit your activity for a few days after surgery to give the ears time to heal. Most patients can return to work or school within 1-2 days of surgery. During this time, you’ll need to apply antibiotic ointment and bandages according to your detailed aftercare instructions. You’ll also be given instructions on sleeping positions and wearing a specialized ear band to help keep your ears in their new place. Some discomfort and swelling are normal after surgery, but painkillers can help with this. After recovery, your ears should look more symmetrical and balanced but it can take a few weeks for all swelling to subside.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re considering otoplasty, a board-certified plastic surgeon can help. To meet with Dr. Deane and our team, contact our Garden City, NY office by calling or filling out our online form.