The term “otoplasty” usually refers to a procedure in which prominent or forward-positioned ears are “pinned” back into a more natural position. The ears really are not “pinned” back as many people believe, but are rather reshaped into a more natural shape, which happens to “pin” them back. Most patients that have prominent ears have certain ear shape characteristics that can be corrected with the procedure.
Why choose Wake Plastic Surgery?
Our surgeons are able to safely and effectively complete otoplasty surgery for both children and adults in our private outpatient surgical suite. The procedure can be completed with deep sedation anesthesia, which makes the early recovery period gentle. The private setting is particularly nice for children and makes the experience much less “scary” than it otherwise needs to be. Both of our surgeons each have four children of their own and are able to relate to and comfort children of all ages.Our Ear Surgery Results
What are the ear characteristics that can be corrected with otoplasty surgery?
The antihelical fold is better defined with suturing techniques.
The antihelical fold of the ear is a prominence that is oriented vertically just inside and parallel to the outer edge of the ear. The loss of definition of the antihelical fold causes the ear to have a smooth inner surface and causes the edge or helix of the ear to wrap forward. Most otoplasty surgeries involve using sutures to bend the cartilage of the ear into a proper position, which recreates this antihelical fold.
The width of the conchal bowl has been reduced
Excess conchal bowl
Another of the common shape changes to a prominent ear is the overdevelopment of the conchal bowl. This is the inner base of the ear just below the acoustic meatus or ear hole. When there is too much conchal bowl cartilage, the ear is pushed outward away from the back of the head. Conservative removal of a segment of this cartilage can effectively reposition the ear in a more natural position.
When should otoplasty surgery be performed?
Otoplasty surgery is typically and most effectively completed when a child is around 5-7 years old. During this time, the ear has already reached about 85% of its growth potential, but the cartilages of the ear are still pliable and easily reshaped.
But the surgery can still be completed with excellent results in older children and adults. Many older patients only wish that they had considered having the procedure completed earlier.
5 year old patient
28 year old patient
How long does otoplasty surgery take?
Dr. Stoeckel performs the surgery with sedation anesthesia for most patients, but it can be performed with just local anesthetics. The procedure takes about 1.5 hours to complete.
Can earlobes that have been stretched by gauge earrings be fixed?
Split and stretched earlobes are relatively easy to repair. The surgery can be completed with just local anesthesia in less than 1 hour. Even with severely stretched earlobes, a normal shape to the earlobe can be restored. There is little to no recovery and the scars heal extremely well in most cases.