Otoplasty is a surgical procedure intended to correct over developed, protruding ears. These conditions are common among children, and people often refer to corrective procedures as a "pinning back" of the ears. Protruding ears can be troublesome for children (or people of any age), so they should be corrected as early as possible.
Patients of any age can undergo otoplasty to correct cosmetic imperfections related to the ear. For children, it is best to wait until the ears have stopped developing, which usually happens around age six. A thorough examination of the ears is performed prior to any interventions. During this time, any concerns about ear shape or anesthesia used can be discussed with Dr. Hess.
Otoplasty is typically performed in just a few hours. To describe it in simple terms, Otoplasty consists of a folding or removal of excess cartilage from the back of the ear. After the remodeling is done, sutures are placed to hold the ears in place, and bandages are applied to quicken the healing process. This can be done under IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Patients will be able to resume their normal routine after about 3 days. During recovery, minimal pain and bruising around the ears is expected. After a few days, bandages are replaced with light dressing. Sleeping on the ears should be avoided during this time. Shampoo use is also limited during the initial recovery period.
Otoplasty is a very common surgical procedure that has satisfied many patients. If you or your child is suffering from an unnatural positioning of the ear, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hess to see if surgery might help.