The Center For SmartLipo & Plastic Surgery offers a full range of facial plastic surgery procedures, including otoplasty under the expertise of board-certified facial plastic surgeon Aaron L. Shapiro, M.D. Dr. Shaprio is an internationally recognized expert in his field and has pioneered a number of cosmetic surgery procedures.
Otoplasty is another name for ear surgery, a cosmetic procedure to alter the shape, position or proportion of the ears. Dr. Shaprio is a skilled plastic surgeon who takes care to create a natural shape to the ear and balance the ears to the size of the face and head. Otoplasty can be used to correct deformities, protruding ears, overly large ears or other conditions relating to the appearance of the ears.
In general, Dr. Shapiro will recommend waiting until a person’s ears have reached full growth and have sable cartilage before electing ear surgery, typically around five years of age or older.
Otoplasty: What to Expect
Otoplasty is a procedure that is generally performed in a comfortable outpatient cosmetic center. The choice of anesthetic is typically different for adults vs. children. Adults can usually have ear surgery under local anesthesia, while children tend to do better under general anesthesia.
Generally speaking, Dr. Shapiro will make an incision behind the ear in the natural skin folds where the ear joins the head. Excess skin and cartilage will be removed and the ear will be sculpted to the desired shape. Finally, Dr. Shapiro will pin the cartilage back with sutures.
For minor revisions, the cosmetic surgeon may not need to remove any skin or cartilage. In some cases, Dr. Shapiro may simply “pin back” the ears to achieve facial symmetry and correct protruding ears.
You should not experience sharp pain or extreme discomfort following ear surgery, though it is common to experience some mild soreness and an itchy feeling as the ears heal. Dr. Shapiro will review specific recovery instructions prior to the otoplasty procedure and provide you with any necessary prescriptions for pain relief.
You may notice a change in your sleep position as your ears heal to avoid discomfort. Dr. Shaprio will recommend that you avoid contact sports or other activities where the ears may be affected for up to 3 months.
Who is a candidate for ear surgery?
Practically anyone who is unhappy with the appearance of their ears may elect to undergo otoplasty, known as ear surgery. Dr. Shaprio recommends that patients be at least 5 years of age, the point at which the ears are near full size and have adequate cartilage structure.
How long is the recovery for ear surgery?
Adult patients can typically return to work within 3 days of an otoplasty procedure. Children are usually able to return to school within 5 to 7 days following ear surgery.
When can I resume exercise?
Dr. Shapiro will recommend limiting strenuous exercise and contact sports for up to 3 months. Young children will need to be especially careful playing, especially on the playground. Trauma to the ears in the early weeks following ear surgery could jeopardize the results.
Is otoplasty covered by insurance?
Occasionally, an insurance company will cover otoplasty. In most cases, however, ear surgery is elected for cosmetic reasons and therefore not covered by insurance.