Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure done to alter the size, position, or proportion of the ears. This procedure can greatly improve self-confidence, especially in children and teens where protruding ears can be a target for teasing.
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If you were born with overly large or small ears, have ears that are oddly placed or stick our prominently, or have suffered an injury that has negatively impacted the position or shape of your ears, ear surgery may be able to benefit you. Ideal candidates will have ears that have reached their full size (usually around the age of six), be in general good health, and be non-smokers.
During ear surgery for teens and adults, an incision will usually be created hidden inside or behind the ear. However, the location of your incisions will depend on which changes you would like to make. Excess cartilage or soft tissue will be removed, and any folds that are missing can be re-created by shaping the cartilage with sutures. Sometimes, a combination of techniques is used to achieve the desired outcome.
Ear Surgery FAQs
Can I drive after ear surgery?
You should avoid driving for about 24 hours after otoplasty or until you are no longer taking any prescription pain medication.
How do you sleep after ear surgery?
After your ear surgery, you should sleep with your head elevated and propped up with pillows, ensuring that your ears are protected.
Does otoplasty affect hearing?
Otoplasty should not affect hearing. The purpose of this surgery is simply to change the appearance of the ear.
Does otoplasty last forever?
Otoplasty results are permanent. Minimal changes in size are possible over time but should not be noticeable.
How ear surgery is done?
Otoplasty is usually completed by making an incision at the back of the ear, through which the tissues can be adjusted to a more desirable shape or position.
How dangerous is ear surgery?
Ear surgery comes with minor risks like any other surgical procedure. Your board-certified plastic surgeon can help you understand them and make an informed decision about your goals.
How long after otoplasty can I exercise?
You should plan to wait about 3 weeks to return to your full exercise regimen. You may be able to return to light exercises like walking within the first 1-2 weeks. Your plastic surgeon can give you the best estimate.
How long does dizziness last after ear surgery?
Dizziness can sometimes occur after ear surgery because of a buildup of fluid. This should disappear within 1-2 weeks.
How long is ear surgery?
Ear surgery can take 1-2 hours to complete, depending on your specific procedure.
How long does it take to recover from an ear surgery?
You should expect to take about 1-2 weeks away from work or school. If your job is more labor-intensive, you may need to wait longer.
After ear surgery, patients will have a dressing wrapped around their ears. It is important to keep this dressing in place unless instructed to remove it by your doctor. It is important to rest frequently during the first week of recovery, though you should still occasionally move around to keep your blood flowing. It is recommended to keep your head elevated while laying down. Dr. Cusimano will instruct you when to remove any dressings, how to apply any antibiotic ointments, and other post-op care instructions.