Otoplasty is the surgical reshaping of the ear tissue, a procedure that is undertaken for a wide variety of reasons. Ears that are imbalanced, disproportionately large or small, damaged by birth defect, overly protruding or have been injured in an accident are all treatable through otoplasty. Often this procedure is done on children to correct birth defects or abnormalities that have become more pronounced as a result of development.
The reshaping of the ear is a highly personal procedure, and depends entirely on the situation of the patient and the patient's wishes. The goal of any otoplasty is to give the ears a natural shape that is balanced and proportional to the rest of the face. Due to the highly visible nature of ears, the results of even slight correction can have a major effect on a patient's feelings toward their appearance. Otoplasty rarely has any effect on hearing, and is performed almost exclusively for cosmetic reasons.
FAQ About Otoplasty
What are the steps of the Otoplasty procedure?
Depending on the severity of the procedure, a local or general anesthetic will be administered to ensure the patient's comfort. An incision is made on the rear of each ear to add or reshape a critical fold in the ear known as the antihelical fold. Cartilage is often removed from the largest sections of the ear. Any frontal incisions are made within the natural folds of the ear to hide the incision lines. Internal sutures are added to hold the reshaped cartilage in place and the incisions are closed with external sutures.
Who is an ideal candidate for Otoplasty?
Otoplasty is an effective procedure for both children and adults. Children that make excellent otoplasty candidates have a healthy medical history free of serious illness or chronic ear infections, are able to verbalize their feelings, are willing to undergo the surgery, and are at least five years old or have stable ear cartilage. Adult candidates should also be free of serious medical conditions, avoid smoking, and have a solid understanding of the procedure, its risks and all possible outcomes.
What happens after the procedure?
The ears will be bandaged following surgery and there may be some pain that can be treated with prescription medication. Itchiness is frequent but it is imperative that the bandages not be removed or the area scratched, as this may damage the corrected area and require revisionary surgery. The results should be immediate, with the bandages removed within a few weeks. The results will improve over time as the new appearance becomes more natural.
Are there any side effects?
Risks of the otoplasty procedure are infrequent but include skin irregularities, scarring, allergies to the surgical materials, pain, sensation changes, asymmetry, infection, blood clots, bleeding and poor wound healing. Any of these complications may lead to the need for revisionary surgery.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Feledy to Learn More
Dr. Feledy conveniently maintains offices in Stafford, VA and Chevy Chase, MD. For more information about otoplasty or to schedule a personal consultation at either location, contact Dr. Feledy's office at 301-654-5666 or 540-891-0040.