Otoplasty is the term used to describe cosmetic surgery that permanently changes the appearance of a person's abnormal or deformed external ear. Patients of any age can be candidates for correction of this
distracting facial feature. If not corrected early in life, many adult
men and women pursue this cosmetic surgery with high success rates and
a strong sense of personal satisfaction.
Prominent or protruding ears commonly run in families so there is an inherited tendency for this condition. It cannot be predicted for certain if your children will be born with prominent ears but it is more likely to occur if one or both parents have them.
There are treatments for prominent ears, which vary depending on when the interventional steps are taken. When identified very early at birth, the ear cartilage can sometimes be molded to improve this condition; however this would not be helpful for you as an adult since the cartilage has obtained its final shape.
To surgically correct prominent ears, we must first identify the characteristics of your ears that are creating the problem. Surgery to correct the prominent ear involves minimal downtime from your work schedule or other normal activities, and in most cases otoplasty will not be covered by health insurance.
There are two common deformities that are associated with prominent ears, and these can appear together or separately. The first is a prominent conchal bowl, which is the curved area just outside the ear canal. The cartilage fails to fully bend and conform and causes the middle portion of the ear to protrude from the head. This is corrected by trimming the excess cartilage and allowing the ear to fold back towards the head.
The second common deformity is a lack of proper cartilage folding in the upper portion of the ear (lack of antihelical fold) that causes the upper third of the ear to protrude from the head. This is corrected by recreating the absent fold surgically. There are several techniques that can be used to correct this problem.
Otoplasty is commonly performed through an incision behind the ear. Once corrected, the patient must wear a head band for a week or two to ensure that the ears are protected and held in the proper position as they heal. It is recommended that otoplasty be performed by age six or before starting school. This will prevent much of the teasing and psychological trauma associated with prominent ears.
Surgery at this young age is possible because the ear reaches its adult size by the age of six years old and there is no danger of impairing its growth. Of course, we frequently perform otoplasty for many adult men and women with high success rates and very satisfying patient outcomes. Call for a consultation appointment that includes an evaluation and a discussion of your particular concerns with one of our surgeons. Learn about the benefits of this cosmetic surgery for you or your child.
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