Written by Dr. Halaas
What is an otoplasty?
Otoplasty is cosmetic surgery of the ear to reduce the appearance of a protuberant ear. One or both ear may look to big for multiple reasons. Commonly, the ear is missing an extra fold or bend which makes the ear “stick” out too much. Sometimes, one ear is simply bigger than the other. At your evaluation, your surgeon will be able to exam your ear and detail for you the best way to repair and improve the appearance of your ear.
Does insurance cover the procedure?
Sometimes. Some insurance carriers recognize the emotional trauma that children go through by being made fun of by other children for “looking different.” Your case would need to be evaluated by your insurance on a case-by-case basis.
What is incisionless otoplasty?
Some ear deformities can be corrected with this minimally invasive technique. With this technique, the surgery is performed without the traditional incision behind the ear. Therefore, the recovery time is quicker with decreased risk.
My young daughter has protruding ears and i’d like to help her out and get them fixed. i’m afraid she will be heavily teased about them in the future. how old does she have to be in order to undergo otoplasty?
It is best to wait for her ears to reach their full size. Usually this happens around six years of age. If she is at least six, please schedule a consultation and we can discuss the procedure and I can answer any further questions you may have.
I’m 25 and i’ve had ears that stick out my whole life. am i too old to get my ears pinned back?
You are never too old to have otoplasty surgery as long as you are in good health and have realistic expectations. Otoplasty is a safe procedure where we can “pin back” and reconstruct or reshape your ears, as needed, to obtain the look you desire.
Is otoplasty surgery painful?
Most patents experience little to no pain after otoplasty surgery. Pain medication will be administered before surgery so you have it to use post-op to ease any discomfort.
How long will i have to keep my son out of school after he undergoes otoplasty surgery?
It is usually a good idea to keep kids out of school for about four days. It is important that they refrain form contact sports and physical education for at lease three weeks after their otoplasty surgery. Most times scheduling their surgery during a long school break works out well so that they do not miss a lot of class.
How long will it take for my ears to heal after otoplasty surgery?
You will not be able to put pressure on your ears for a couple weeks as you recover from surgery. After about ten days post-op the swelling should have gone down enough so you can see what your final results will be. It takes about a year to fully heal from otoplasty surgery.
One of my ears is shaped differently from the other. can otoplasty surgery help to reshape my ears?
Yes, with otoplasty surgery cartilage and skin can be reshaped to achieve facial symmetry. This can give you more proportionate ears that are alike in size and shape.
What post-op symptoms of otoplasty surgery should i be aware of?
Most patients will experience bruising and swelling that can last up to three weeks. However, the swelling and bruising should start to subside after the first week of surgery.
If i undergo otoplasty surgery will my hearing be affected?
No, your hearing will not be affected. The only change in your ears will be aesthetic as they are altered to achieve the look you desire.
Will there be apparent scarring from an otoplasty?
There will be a small incision made behind the ear, which will leave a minor scar that is well hidden.
My daughter recently turned five and her ears stick out. when can i take her to get them pinned back so that she won’t be teased growing up?
You can take her for otoplasty surgery when her ears reach their full size, which generally happens around six years of age.
My left ear sits higher on the side of my head than my right. can otoplasty surgery help me?
Yes, otoplasty surgery can reshape your ears to create a more symmetrical appearance. The surgery is very low risk and can remove and reshape cartilage and skin to create the ideal look.