At Hattiesburg Clinic Plastic Surgery, our physicians offer a variety of facial surgical procedures, including ear surgery. Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of large ears or brings protruding ears close to the head. Often performed on children, ear surgery can correct the following problems:
- Protruding ears due to excessive cartilage.
- Large or deformed earlobes.
- “Lop ear” (ear tip bends down and forward).
- “Cupped” or “shell ear” (very tiny ear or ear without natural creases).
Our board-certified plastic surgeons typically perform otoplasty on children between the ages of 4 and 14, as their cartilage is not full formed and is more pliable. The largest benefit of this procedure at an early age is an increase in self-confidence for children.
How is ear surgery performed?
Before otoplasty, our surgeons will examine the ear to determine the best otoplasty technique. One common method involves making a small incision in the back of the ear and sculpting the exposed cartilage before re-positioning it closer to the head. Non-removable stitches are used to keep the cartilage in place.
Another technique removes the skin and folds the cartilage back, rather than removing it. Non-removable stitches are also used in this procedure to maintain the position of the cartilage. Total ear reconstruction involves a more extensive procedure, which includes developing a framework from the ribs and skin grafting.
If ear surgery is an option for you or your child, your surgeon will discuss all of these options during an initial consultation.
Am I a good candidate for ear surgery?
If a patient feels that he or she has protruding or abnormally shaped ears – this procedure may be the right choice. Although otoplasty can be performed on anyone, the best candidates are typically children. This is because children have extremely pliable cartilage in the ear, which makes it easier to shape.
As with most cosmetic procedures, it’s also important to be in relatively good health. If a patient has a history of high blood pressure, thyroid problems or diabetes – the patient’s primary care physician should be consulted with before moving forward with otoplasty.
What can I expect after otoplasty?
Following ear surgery, patients will be given a bandage to wrap around the head. This will be replaced within a few days with a lighter bandage and our physicians will provide the patient with post-operative instructions.
As patients heal from otoplasty, they may experience swelling, discomfort, numbness or headaches – which subside after a few days. Younger patients are advised to refrain from normal activity for at least a week, while adults can resume normal activity after three days. Both adults and children should refrain from bending their ears for at least a month.
What are the typical results of ear surgery?
Otoplasty patients are often very happy with the results of this procedure since it eliminates a physical feature that can contribute to self-conscious feelings.
How much does otoplasty cost?
The average cost for ear surgery varies based on the extent of the procedure. To discuss cost or any questions/concerns, please call our office at 601-261-3690 to set up a consultation.
Hattiesburg Clinic Plastic Surgery offers plastic and reconstructive surgery to patients across Mississippi including Hattiesburg, Forrest County, Lamar County, Laurel, Meridian and the Pine Belt. Our board-certified plastic surgeons, Richard A. Pecunia, MD, FACS; Petra R. Schneider-Redden, MD, FACS; and William O. “Trey” Thomas, III, MD, FACS are committed to providing quality care.