Otoplasty (Ear Surgery) in Spring, Texas
Our overall appearance doesn’t begin and end with the face. The ears are part of the frame that provides symmetry to the face. When the ears are large or protruding, they are disproportionate to facial structure. This can create self-consciousness and embarrassment. Helping people prevent or overcome these feelings by reshaping the ears brings the facial plastic surgeons at Cilento Facial Plastics a lot of joy.
What is an Otoplasty?
Otoplasty is an ear surgery that revolves around improving the appearance of the ears. Some people refer to this procedure as “ear pinning.” While many ear surgeries do bring the ears in closer to the head, it is also possible to reduce the overall size of the ears using specific surgical techniques.
Who is a candidate for ear surgery?
Patients who are in good general health and who would like to end the self-consciousness they feel about their ears can be excellent candidates for otoplasty. Some of the conditions that can be improved with ear surgery include:
- Protrusion or enlargement of the ears
- Inward or outward fold of the ear (lopping)
- Large earlobes
- Lack of curvature at the outer edge of the ear
Can children undergo ear surgery?
People of all ages can undergo cosmetic ear surgery to correct shape, size, and other concerns. Otoplasties are often performed during childhood. Unlike other parts of the body, the ears reach full physical maturity very early. Children may be ready for corrective ear surgery by age 4 or 5. Many parents and doctors prefer treating children before they start elementary school. This helps the child avoid possible teasing due to the appearance of their ears.
What are the benefits of ear surgery?
Abnormally large, small, or asymmetrical ears are typically not a medical concern. The most significant concern regarding ear placement and size is the emotional effect this can have on a person. Otoplasty is an elective surgery that focuses on cosmetic appearance. The benefits that come from correcting the ears include:
- Structural changes to the ears create a more natural, aligned appearance.
- Natural-looking ears promote self-confidence. Even adults who have lived with disproportionate ears for decades rediscover a higher sense of self-esteem through otoplasty.
- Healthier emotional development can occur when a child does not have to encounter teasing about their appearance. Statistics indicate that 1 in 3 children get bullied at some point. Ear surgery can decrease this risk.
The Otoplasty Procedure
Otoplasty surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. This type of anesthesia allows the patient to sleep comfortably and remember nothing about their procedure. The entire process lasts 90 minutes to 2 hours in most cases. After a small incision is made, cartilage is molded and shaped as needed to achieve the desired contouring and protrusion. When the desired results have been achieved, sutures are placed to support the new position of the ear. A bandage is applied around the head for further support.
What is the Recovery from Ear Surgery?
Most patients feel quite good within a few hours after their ear surgery. The biggest side effect that is noticed is an ache or throbbing sensation in the ears. This can last a few days. Pain medication may be prescribed to assist with comfort during this time. Because the ears are wrapped with the surgical dressing, swelling and bruising are not visible. Approximately one week after surgery, a follow-up visit takes place. During this appointment, we observe the initial results of surgery and evaluate incisions for healing. Stitches may also be removed at this time.
How soon after ear surgery can I return to normal activities?
Most patients can return to normal activities one week after otoplasty. Children may return to school at this time and adult patients often return to work and lighter physical activities within a week to 10 days.
Does Ear Surgery Leave Scars?
Surgical incisions result in scarring. Otoplasty incisions are made behind the ear, in the natural crease between the ear and the head. Even when the hair is short or worn up, incisions are well hidden in this fold. Over time, scars fade to a point of being barely seen or felt.
How long will my ears be bandaged after ear surgery?
The initial dressing that is placed after otoplasty remains in place for one week. A headband is worn at all times for another 3 weeks. From 4 to 6 weeks post-surgery, patients should always sleep with the headband.
Are there any risks to otoplasty surgery?
Complications after otoplasty are rare and side effects are usually minor. Possible risks include keloid formation or poor incision healing and the formation of blood clots. If blood clots do form, they often dissolve naturally over time. If they do not, they can be aspirated with a small needle. Infection is also a potential complication from ear surgery. Working with a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience performing otoplasty is one way to decrease the risk of complications.
“Continue to be a repeat client if Dr Cilentos. He’s smart and accessible and really listens. He has performed surgery on me and many members if my family and friends.” – Amy F.
“Dr Cilento is very knowledgeable, approachable, and just an all around good person. He doesn’t try to push any procedures and makes sure you’re at ease both before and after surgery. Dr Cilento has great experience and you can tell he knows his stuff. I went to 3 other doctors before coming to Dr CIlento but I’m glad I did, everything came out perfect. If you’re looking for a plastic surgeon/ENT around the Spring/Woodlands area, Dr. Cilento should be your first option.” – Eduardo P.