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What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty is the medical term for ear surgery, most often performed to correct protruding ears, misshapen ears, overly-large ears, or to create a natural-looking ear structure to correct congenital deformities. Our plastic surgeons typically perform this procedure with local anesthesia, but a mild sedative may be helpful for sensitive or nervous patients so they can sleep through the operation. The incisions are placed behind the ear, and any surgical scars are invisible once you have healed. A small portion of the ear cartilage may be removed, allowing the ear to lie flat against the head. The procedure takes about two hours to complete. 

What does ear surgery treat?

Ear reshaping surgery can resolve any of the following cosmetic ear issues:

  • Protruding ears
  • Uneven ears
  • Shell-like ears
  • Overly large ears
  • Large earlobes
  • Damaged ear lobes (torn, stretched)
  • Congenital deformities

Candidates for ear surgery (otoplasty)

Candidates for ear reshaping surgery should be in good health. Children can have their ear shape corrected at an early age, usually at about five or six years old. Adults should be non-smokers, and safe to undergo surgery. If your ears protrude, or you have overly large earlobes, split or stretched earlobes, or any other unsightly ear condition, you are likely a candidate for this surgery.

How is ear surgery performed?

Ear surgery typically requires only local anesthesia. With young children, deeper anesthesia is usually administered for their comfort. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, incisions are placed on the backs of your ears, or within the inner creases if the ear structure must be corrected. Excess cartilage and skin are removed so the ear structure can lie flat and then secured with stitches. All stitches/sutures are removed in about ten days. The results are visible immediately.

Ear surgery for children

If you’re the parent of a child who is suffering from teasing by other children due to protruding or unusually-shaped ears, you may consider otoplasty for your child. If teasing or bullying is allowed to continue, it can affect your child’s confidence, happiness, and self-certainty. Children can have their ears corrected as early as age five, and at Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery, we can help.

Earlobe repair surgery

Do you have an expensive pair of earrings you wish you could wear, but a torn or damaged earlobe prevents you from doing so? Or, perhaps you feel self-conscious about oversized earlobes? Earlobe reduction or repair surgery can solve these issues in a fast, out-patient surgery. Torn, split, or stretched earlobes can be restored to their natural appearance. 

Recovery from ear surgery

After the procedure is complete, you are free to return home, where you can rest, keeping your head elevated. Your ears will be protected with compression bandages. Avoid contact or pressure and continue to sleep on your back until the incisions have healed. Take the entire course of medications as prescribed. Avoid direct sun exposure. You will be unable to wear glasses until the incisions have healed, typically for three weeks. You will wear the compression headband at night for about three weeks. You will be provided with full aftercare instructions regarding caring for the incisions and will have several follow-up appointments with us to track your recovery.

Ear surgery at-a-glance

  • Procedure time: One to two hours
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia or general anesthesia
  • Typical recovery time: Two to three weeks
  • Can it be performed with another surgery? Yes. SculptLift™, facelift, neck lift, eyelid lift, brow lift

Why Choose Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery in Birmingham?

As a world-renowned plastic surgeon specializing in the face and neck, Dr. Rousso has more than 30 years of experience and has gained worldwide recognition for his contributions to the fields of plastic surgery and hair restoration. Dr, Rousso and Dr. Adams will never give you a result that looks artificial; our ear surgery procedure will leave you with a natural, balanced appearance, with your ears framing your face, enhancing your overall look.

Our facility uses state-of-the-art medical equipment and many of our staff have been with Dr. Rousso for more than 20 years. We offer a patient experience above and beyond what you will find elsewhere, including concierge services on par with the best five-star hotels. Our friendly staff can help you arrange travel and hotel accommodations, lab appointments, sitters, aftercare and many other services from start to finish. If you are considering otoplasty in Birmingham AL, contact us today.

FAQ

What is ear pinning?

Ear pinning refers to “pinning” the ears back during ear surgery. The procedure is performed with sutures and no surgical pins required. The term pinning is a misnomer that refers to the process of bring the ears closer to the head.

Will I have visible scars?

Ear surgery involves placing incisions behind the ear to access the ear cartilage, leaving a minor scar behind the ear entirely, which is not visible and will fade with time.

When can I re-pierce my ears after an earlobe repair?

Once your split ear lobe is repaired, you will need to wait six weeks for the scar to heal completely before you can re-pierce your ears. Otherwise, your new earring can end up separating the repaired ear lobe all over again. In addition, you should pierce your ears in a different location on the ear lobe. The original hole is now located within a scar, and scarred skin will never be as strong as unscarred skin.

What are ways to prevent damage to my newly revised ear lobe?

Avoid wearing heavy earrings for a long period of time. Remove earrings when using the telephone or at the hair salon. Avoid wearing dangling earrings when around small children. Remove your earrings before removing upper clothing, like sweaters so they don’t catch on your clothing. Do not allow children to wear small or dangling earrings.

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