Otoplasty: Treatable Conditions
Otoplasty can correct several aesthetic imperfections of the ears, including:
- Oversized ears, including those caused by the condition macrotia
- Protruding ears
- Ears on which the top portion hangs or folds downward
- Ears on which the outer rim is disproportionately cupped
- Ears that are misshapen due to injury
If you’re considering otoplasty for your child, he or she should generally be at least 5 years old. It’s important that a child’s ear cartilage be developed to achieve and maintain results.
The Otoplasty Procedure
Each ear surgery will differ based on individual factors that include the imperfection being addressed and the extent of surgery necessary. An otoplasty often involves a small incision along the back of the ear to expose the cartilage and internal tissue.
The cartilage and tissue are then reformed to a natural-looking shape and proportionate profile. Most otoplasty procedures use nonabsorbable, internal sutures to secure the cartilage. The external stitches and any residual scarring are concealed by the ears.
Otoplasty Recovery and Results
Recovery guidelines and results will vary depending on the nature and extent of surgery. In most cases, patients will need to wear a headwrap and dressings designed to support the ears for at least a few days, during which time lingering discomfort will subside.
Routine activities can typically be resumed within a week, but strenuous physical activity and contact sports should be avoided for six to eight weeks. Your surgeon will clear you or your child for increased activity amid the recovery process.
Otoplasty results are typically noticeable as soon as the dressings are removed, although there may be some lingering bruising. Scars are hidden behind the ear or in the creases of the ear, and will fade with time. The results of an otoplasty can be permanent, although physical trauma or the effects of aging may affect the appearance of the ears.