Reshape the Ears with Otoplasty in Farmington & Hartford, CT
Large, protruding, or misshapen ears are a common source of teasing. Children and adults alike often endure damaging comments about the appearance of their ears. Otoplasty is a surgical procedure which can reshape the ears, ensuring they complement your appearance and are in harmony with your other facial features. We perform otoplasty procedures on patients both young and old throughout the Farmington valley and Hartford County.
Ear Reshaping Surgery Basics
Otoplasty, a type of ear reshaping surgery, may also be referred to as ear remodeling or ear pinning. The treatment is designed to augment the size, shape, and protrusion of the ears to better frame the face. It is often performed on children, but we also treat adults that are unhappy with the appearance of their ears. Older and younger patients alike can benefit from an ear transformation.
Otoplasty is used tot reat a wide variety of ear issues. At Connecticut Facial Plastic Surgery, we use ear surgery to treat:
- Ears that protrude from the sides of the head
- Ears that are significantly larger than other facial features
- Asymmetrical ears
- Congenital ear deofrmities
- Trauma to the ear and cauliflower ear
- Earlobe repair
- Ears that fold over on top (lop ears)
- Dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery results (otoplasty revision)
- Ear deformities from cancer (Mohs surgery)
A consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons can help you decide if ear pinning will benefit you or your child. Come in for an examination and consultation to learn more about your options for ear surgery in Farmington, CT or Hartford County.
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The Otoplasty Procedure - What to Expect
Surgery to correct protruding ears begins with a small incision, placed behind the ear in the natural fold where the ear meets the head. Cartilage is repositioned or removed, as needed, and permanent sutures are placed to hold the ear in position. Other incisions may be needed for shaping and vary with each case. Any incisions on the front of the ear are placed in natural folds to minimize visibility after healing.
Since otoplasty can address many different ear problems, the procedure can vary extensively. Your surgeon will give you a better idea of what to expect from your procedure during your consultation.
Recovery After Otoplasty
Patients return home the same day as their procedure, often one to two hours after surgery is complete. After ear surgery, the ears are bandaged with special dressings that support the ears as they heal. This bandaging is temporary, and results from the procedure will be immediately visible after the bandaging is removed.
It is very important that the bandaging remains in place until the surgeon instructs. Parents must help children to avoid touching the bandages, so the ears can heal properly.
Patients should plan on missing about a week from work or school. Minor activity restrictions may be in place for about six weeks.
Ear Surgery and Children - What Age Can I Consider Otoplasty for My Child?
Otoplasty can be performed any time after the ears reach their full adult size. This usually occurs around five to six years of age. We find that performing the surgery early, usually before the child starts Kindergarten or first-grade, can help prevent the negative consequences associated with teasing.
Ear size is only one factor in determining if a child is ready for surgery. We want our young patients to understand the procedure and to play an active role in their care. Children should be able to listen and follow directions well. Cooperation is essential for a successful procedure and to minimize complications in surgery preparation and recovery.
When preparing for otoplasty on a child, we communicate with both the parents and the patient. This is a team effort (parent, child, and surgeon) and we’ll all work together to achieve the best possible result for our patient.
Surgery on children can be difficult. Our surgeons have worked with many young children and understood how to communicate with them to alleviate fear and anxiety. Additionally, we perform our pediatric otoplasties at a free-standing children’s ambulatory surgery center, specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the pediatric population We love our young patients and find that working with children is among the most rewarding work we do.
Ear surgery on children is often performed during the summer or around school holidays to minimize time missed from school. If the procedure is scheduled during the school year, patients typically miss one week of classes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Otoplasty
Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure and does not affect hearing.
Results from an otoplasty procedure are lifelong. Children that receive ear surgery will retain their ear shape and placement into adulthood. We also perform revision otoplasty on adult patients that are unhappy with childhood otoplasty results.
Ear surgery incisions are carefully placed to minimize scarring. Most incisions are made on the back of the ear. Incisions are also placed in natural creases and folds on the front of the ear as needed. Most patients find their incisions are practically imperceptible after they’ve fully healed from surgery.
Some discomfort is normal after otoplasty, but post-operative pain is minimal and well controlled with pain medication, as needed. Most children do not need prescription pain relief and can use over-the-counter options should discomfort occur.
Children with misshapen ears often endure significant teasing. Otoplasty at a young age can stop this teasing before it starts, and before a child has developed negative feelings about their appearance. Young children also have softer, more malleable cartilage. This gives the surgeon more options and flexibility for reshaping the ears.
Ear surgery patients come in every shape and size. They range in age from five and up. Good candidates for surgery have realistic expectations for the procedure. The ability to listen, cooperate, and follow instructions is critical to success from ear surgery.
We encourage parents to play an active role in preparation for their child’s otoplasty. During the consultation, we meet with both parent and child. Parent, surgeon, and child work together for a successful procedure.