Also referred to as ear pinning surgery, otoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to correct protruding ears. Otoplasty essentially “pins back” the ears so that they lie closer to the head. This procedure may be performed on both adults and children aged four and older. In fact, this is often a good surgery to perform at younger ages because the cartilage of the ears is more pliable and because correction can help to spare children teasing that they might otherwise experience due to their large or protruding ears.
Dr. Roland will evaluate your or your child’s ears during your consultation at his Manhattan office in order to determine the best approach to meet your desired needs. The surgery may be performed at his office or at one of New York City’s desirable hospitals or surgicenters. Surgical times average two to three hours and either local or general anesthesia may be used. Young children often receive general anesthesia.
The incision for otoplasty is made in the natural crease behind the ear. Through this incision, Dr. Roland will weaken the cartilage and then bend the ear into the new shape. Sutures will be used to hold the ear in place. In most cases, the incision will result in a very faint, well-disguised scar that will fade over time.
The recovery after otoplasty may include some discomfort which can be relived with medication. A bandage is applied after surgery and this is often removed within a few days and replaced with a lighter dressing that resembles a headband. Some swelling, redness and bruising may result but will fade within time. Surface stitches are often removed within a week, and patients are generally well enough to return to school or work within five to seven days. It is important, particularly with younger patients, to avoid contact sports and other activities in which the ear may be bent for a minimum of one month.
Commonly Asked Questions Concerning Your Otoplasty Surgery (Ear Pinning)
What can otoplasty do for me?
Otoplasty corrects protruding ears. It is also referred to as ear pinning surgery because it essentially pins back the ears, positioning them closer to the head.
Am I a good candidate for otoplasty?
The best candidates for otoplasty are looking correct protruding hears. Surgery can, and often is, be performed on children. At younger ages, the cartilage of the ear is more pliable. Furthermore, correcting protruding ears early on can spare children the teasing that may otherwise result as they get older. During consultation in his Manhattan office, Dr. Roland will evaluate your child’s ears to determine the best approach for correction.
How is otoplasty performed?
Otoplasty is performed in one of the New York City area’s hospitals or surgicenters under either local anesthesia or general anesthesia. The surgery averages two to three hours in length. The incision is made behind the ear in a natural crease. Dr. Roland then weakens the cartilage in order to bend it into a new shape and this new shape is held in place with sutures.
What is the recovery from otoplasty like?
After your otoplasty, a bandage may be applied to your head which will be removed after several days. Once the bandage is removed, you will need to wear a lighter headband-like dressing. The ears may be swollen, red, bruised and uncomfortable for a period of time. You can alleviate the discomfort with medication. Sutures are removed within one week. Many patients return to work within five to seven days post operatively. Certain activities, especially contact sports, will need to be avoided for a minimum of one month.
What is the scar like after otoplasty?
The incision, and resulting scar, for otoplasty is located inconspicuously in a natural crease behind the ear. For most patients, the scar fades with time to a very faint line.
What are the risks of otoplasty?
Possible complications include: bleeding, infection, a mismatched or artificial appearance, and return of the protrusion.