Otoplasty, also referred to as ear pinning, is a plastic surgery that reshapes protruding ears.
Although having prominent ears does not affect hearing, it is considered a major cause of lack of confidence and anxiety, especially in children and young people who get teased by their classmates for having “Mickey Mouse Ears”.
In adults, protruding ears are also a cause of psychological discomfort. Women with prominent ears avoid wearng their hair up while men have a harder time trying to cover this defect. Otoplasty is designed to alter the abnormal shape of the cartilage which is the cause of the prominence. There are three different cartilage deformities, which are in some cases combined:
Am I good candidate?
Otoplasty should be performed as soon as the ears reach their full development, which is around the age of five years.
However, adults can also undergo this surgery as long as they are in good health and have no pre-existing medical conditions. I will evaluate the general health status of the patient and discuss the treatment accordingly.
How is it done?
The ear pinning surgery usually takes two hours for both ears depending on the nature of the deformity. It is performed under general or local anesthesia according to the patient’s preference.
An incision hidden in the natural crease behind the ear is made to expose the cartilage. Then the cartilage is reshaped by thinning it or, if necessary, cutting out parts of it. Finally the cartilage is bent back toward the head and the incision closed with fine stitches to hold the cartilage in place. A big bandage is applied around the head to protect the ears and help reduce discomfort and swelling.
How long is the recovery?
Patients can be discharged the same day of their surgery. Children can go back to school in one week and adults can resume work in three to five days but should avoid strenuous activities during recovery. Swelling and bruising are normal effects of Otoplasty and normally disappear within ten days and a headband is to be worn during one week.
You will be given specific instructions on how to care for your surgical site, what medications to take in order to relieve the pain and reduce the risk of infection. Be sure to ask all the questions concerning what to expect during the recovery period.
Disclaimer: The info presented on this page is indicative and for generic use only. Each patient’s case is unique and will be studied by Dr. Chadi Murr for full assessment.