Ear reshaping or otoplasty, is the correction of prominent or excessively large ears. It is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed on congenital abnormalities. Otoplasty can also improve large or stretched earlobes. New ears can be reconstructed for those who were born without them or who lost them through injury.
Otoplasty is usually performed on children between the ages of 4 to 14, but can be performed on adults as well. When operating on children, Dr. Sabry prefers to perform the surgery, at the earliest, between ages 6 to 7. This allows the ear to fully develop and ear cartilage to mature. Mature cartilage holds sutures in place well and results in optimal correction. Corrective surgery at this age also addresses the condition before the child has to endure teasing and ridicule from school age peers.
Otoplasty is designed to set the ears back after creating folds and rotating the ears, thereby normalizing the appearance. The procedure takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the complexity or amount of correction needed. The procedure will leave a slight scar behind the ear, which will fade in time and not visible from the front or profile views.
Incisions are made behind each ear and cartilage is scored. Absorbable sutures are used to reshape the ear folds and buried under the skin. Occasionally a reduction in size may be necessary. In this case skin incisions are closed with dissolving stitches that do not require removal. Even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually performed on both ears for better balance.
Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and most patients are able to return to school or work in 7 to 10 days. Dr. Sabry sees patients for post-operative visits during recover. He and our staff will answer any questions you may have about your recovery. Our care and concern extends to your overall health and well-being.
All surgeries care the risk of complications. Otoplasty complications are rare and usually minor but may include temporary numbness and nerve injury.