Having excessively large ears or ears that greatly protrude from the head can be embarrassing to children and adults alike. The good news is that our Washington, D.C. area plastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Parker Porter offers both children (over the age of 6 years old) and adults in Bethesda, MD, and Washington, D.C., otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery, to correct these aesthetic concerns and more.
Why Otoplasty Is Necessary
Otoplasty is an effective means to improve the position, shape or size of the ear. It can be used to correct an inherent ear abnormality that has been present since birth or abnormalities that have developed with age or as a result of trauma to the ear.
Specifically, otoplasty is performed to correct the look of ears that protrude too far away from the head, decreasing the degree of protrusion. Cosmetic ear surgery can also be performed to reduce the size of overly enlarged ears. In addition, the procedure is effective in improving the look of ears with tips that are folded down and forward, a condition often referred to as “lop ear.” Finally, otoplasty can be performed to treat a condition referred to as “shell ear,” in which sections of the outer ear rim are missing.
To get an idea of how otoplasty can bring a sense of balance to facial features overall, please see one of our patient’s before-and-after photos in the photo gallery.
What to Expect During Otoplasty
Otoplasty is an outpatient procedure that takes about two to three hours to complete. For young children, Dr. Porter prefers to use general anesthesia, so the child can sleep through the operation, remaining completely comfortable for the duration. Local anesthesia with intravenous sedation can be used for older children and adults.
The details of the otoplasty procedure vary by patient, depending on what part of the ear Dr. Porter is correcting. The incisions for otoplasty are typically made on the backside of the ear where they are not visible to others. When it is necessary for Dr. Porter to place the incisions on the front of the ear, she strategically positions them in the creases of the ear where the ear’s natural shape will conceal them. Permanent internal sutures may be used to re-shape the cartilage and hold the newly shaped cartilage in place.
The Otoplasty Recovery Period
Once Dr. Porter is satisfied with the ears’ new shape, size or degree of protrusion, she dresses the treatment area with a padded bandage. Later, a light head dressing is placed over the treatment area, which should stay in place for at least one week.
You will be able to return to work or school about one week after surgery, but you must be very careful of engaging in any activity during which there may be possible contact with the ear. While it is healing, the ear is more susceptible to being bent or otherwise damaged.
See What Otoplasty Can Do for You
If you are tired of feeling embarrassed about the look of your ears and would like to achieve a sense of proportion throughout the ears and face, it is time to see what otoplasty can do for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Porter to find out more about otoplasty, contact Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery by calling (301) 652-8191.