Children and adults may be embarrassed by the appearance of their ears. If you have protruding ears, torn or stretched earlobes or other cosmetic concerns with the appearance of your ears, then ear surgery may be right for you. Read on to learn more about ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, and when it may be necessary.
Otoplasty is most commonly performed on children to correct their protruding ears, a procedure that usually takes about an hour. Once the ears are fully grown, around age four, patients can undergo otoplasty. Kids often need general anesthesia, while local anesthesia may be used on adults for surgery.
To correct protruding ears, incisions are made in the crease where the ear meets the head behind the ear. The cartilage is then bent and shaped into a more attractive position closer to the head. There won’t be a visible scar since the incision is made in the crease behind the ear.
Repairing a torn or stretched earlobe is often necessary after an accident when the earlobe is torn or from years of wearing heavy earrings or gauge earrings that have stretched the ears. This surgery also takes about an hour. Often some skin is removed to create a clean incision line for a thin scar that’s barely visible once the incision has healed.
For the first few days after otoplasty surgery, the patient’s head will need to be wrapped in heavily padded cotton bandages to help with healing and protection. These bandages will then be replaced with surgical dressings for a few days, at which time stitches will be removed.
Children can return to school after one week, while adults who undergo otoplasty won’t need as long to return to their regular work and light activities.