Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)
Ear surgery typically serves two functions: setting prominent ears back closer to the head, and reducing the size of large ears. Surgery may also be helpful for “lop ear,” “cup ear,” as well as large or stretched earlobes. Although surgery for adults is available, the operation is also performed on children, which may prevent a child from being teased in school.
Otoplasty may be performed in a hospital, office-based facility or an outpatient surgery center. General anesthesia is recommended for very young patients, while local anesthesia and IV sedation are used for older children and adults.
During surgery to correct prominent ears, a small incision is made behind the ear, revealing the cartilage which is then sculpted, bent into its new position and stitched into place. In some types of otoplasty skin is removed but the cartilage is left in one piece and merely bent back on itself for a smaller-looking ear. A bandage is wrapped around the head to ensure the new positioning. To achieve better balance, both ears may be operated on even if only one has a problem. You should not expect your new ears to match exactly; even normal, natural ears are not identical.
Patients of all ages usually feel back to normal after a few hours, although the ears may ache or throb for a few days. Bandages are replaced with a surgical dressing after a few days, and stitches are removed within the week. Adults often return to work in five days and children may return to school in seven.
Pediatric Plastic Surgery
Pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery is an important type of procedure for external deformities that requires special care and precision. Children’s plastic surgery makes up about 3% of all plastic surgery procedures. Doctors in this field are trained to work with the growing bodies of children to ensure proper development and functioning. Reasons for pediatric plastic surgery can be a result of birth defects, trauma or cosmetic purposes and include cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis, ear and nose problems, birth marks, burns and other traumatic injuries and more. Surgeons can work with families from before birth and into adulthood.