Otoplasty, or ear shaping, is the surgical alteration of ears that protrude more than normal or are large compared to other facial features. This procedure is relatively simple and can be done at any age. Adult patients sometimes find that as they age, their ears become more prominent in a way they find undesirable. Otoplasty addresses this concern and can be performed alone or in conjunction with other rejuvenating procedures.
Children who are candidates for otoplasty are advised to have the procedure performed at the age of five or six, when the ears are almost fully developed. Otoplasty is tolerated well by young patients, and many parents feel that it is best for the child to have the surgery before entering school, where the teasing of other children can potentially result in psychological trauma.
Following a consultation with Dr. Loving, the patient will verify that he or she is in good overall health. Child patients may need medical clearance from their pediatrician. Otoplasty is usually performed in Dr. Loving’s operating room under either “twilight” or general anesthesia.
Repositioning of the ears is accomplished by making small incisions behind the ear. A small amount of skin is removed and cartilage is recontoured so as to best position and, if necessary, reshape the ear. The ear fold is thereby restored, which makes the ear lie flat against the head. Incision sites are usually entirely concealed in the natural skin crease behind the ear. A bandage is worn for a few days following surgery while the ears heal in their new, more natural position. Pain following the operation is minimal. Children should take care for the first few weeks not to knock against their ears while playing. Adult patients can return to work in a week or less, though they should not engage in strenuous activities or contact sports for several weeks. To request more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Loving, please call 212-472-0900.