Ear reshaping, also known as otoplasty, is intended to place protruding ears in a more natural position. This surgery may be performed any time after the age of four or five. By that time, the ears have reached 85% of its adult size so there will be little, if any, subsequent change.

What Happens During The Otoplasty Procedure

Otoplasty may last between two to three hours. To begin, your surgeon will fold your ear forward and make a small incision in the back or the ear to expose the earshutterstock_94539856 cartilage. Depending on your particular needs, a piece of cartilage may or may not then be removed. The cartilage is folded back on itself, pinned, and sutured to maintain the newly created shape of your ear.
For younger children, general anesthesia is commonly used so they will sleep throughout the procedure. For teenagers and adults, surgeons prefer to use local anesthesia and may combine it with a sedative. This way you will be awake, but very relaxed

Preparing For Otoplasty Surgery

Your initial consultation is extremely important. You should be able to speak freely with your surgeon about your goals and desired outcome. Be prepared to provide your medical history and inform your surgeon of any vitamins and medications (including over-the-counter) that you are taking. Make sure to tell your surgeon if you smoke, have uncontrolled high blood pressure, allergies, blood clotting problems, or the tendency to form excessive scars because these problems can affect the outcome of your surgery.

Review With Your Doctor

  • Do Not Take Aspirin or Products Containing Ibuprofen for two weeks before or after your procedure. These medications thin the blood, interfere with normal blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. Instead, use medications containing acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.
  • Discontinue Smoking for two weeks before and after surgery. Smoking constricts small blood vessels and inhibits the healing process.
  • Avoid Alcohol for two weeks before and after surgery.
  • Decreasing Salt intake will help diminish swelling after surgery.
  • Drink Plenty of Water to help flush toxins from your body.
  • Stop Taking All Vitamins and Herbs two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Fill Your Prescriptions before your surgery date, especially pain and antibiotic medications your doctor has prescribed for this procedure.
  • Arrange for Someone to Take You Home and to assist you for 24 hours after surgery.

What To Expect After Surgery

Work and School: You may return to work or school after approximately one week.

Discomfort: Your ears may ache and/or throb following surgery. This discomfort can be alleviated by medication prescribed by your surgeon. If pain persists, contact your surgeon immediately.

Recovery: Most patients will need to wear a tight fitting head-band for at least one month after the procedure in order to secure the ears in their new position. Activity where the ear may be forward (for example: football, wrestling, and other similar sports) should be avoided for a month following surgery. For children, be careful when playing on the playground.

Results: Each patient heals and scars differently. It is vital to keep in mind that the results of this procedure vary from patient to patient. However most patients will enjoy their final result within six to twelve months.