Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)
From an aesthetic perspective, the ears help to balance the eyes, nose, and other facial features. When the ears are overly large, out of alignment, or protruding, they may have an undesirable effect on the overall appearance and cause an individual to feel self-conscious about the way they look. Our skilled plastic surgeons, Dr. Jerome Liu and Dr. Tom Liu, perform otoplasty to help remedy any concerns related to ear size or shape. Otoplasty, also called ear reshaping or ear pinning, is available to both children and adults experiencing dissatisfaction with the appearance of their ears.
For more information about otoplasty, or if you wish to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.
Why People Choose Otoplasty
There are many reasons to consider ear surgery. Young children may be subject to teasing or taunts from other children, while adults often alter their hairstyle or wear hats and other concealing accessories to hide what they consider to be an embarrassing feature. In many cases, patients considering otoplasty simply want to improve the appearance of a feature they feel self-conscious about. Usually, aesthetic surgery of the ear entails reinforcing existing features or pinning the ear to prevent it from sticking out. Otoplasty can help position the ears in a pleasing, symmetrical manner and enhance the facial appearance.
About Otoplasty Surgery
Dr. Jerome Liu and Dr. Tom Liu utilize several techniques to help optimize patient results. In general, there are two types of suturing that can be used to decrease the projection of the ear. In some patients there is a lack of anti-helical fold that can cause the ear to stick out more at the edge. Mustarde sutures will be used to recreate the fold and tuck in the outer edge of the ear. Another reason some ears stick out is that the angle from the head is increased, and the bowl of the ear is especially prominent. In these patients, the Furnas technique is used, wherein some of the excess tissue will be removed and the bowl of the ear will be sutured close to the scalp, “pinning” the ear back. The method chosen will be based on patient need and desired outcome, and sometimes both techniques may be required. Ear surgery often requires a small amount of downtime and a brief recovery period compared with many surgical procedures. For young children, the procedure usually will be performed under general anesthesia; however, older children and adults only require local anesthesia.
The initial consultation is an essential opportunity for the patient to discuss any concerns, expectations, and questions they may have with Dr. Jerome Liu and Dr. Tom Liu. After a full examination of the ears and facial features, as well as a review of the individual’s medical history, our plastic surgeons will develop a customized treatment plan that can address concerns related to ear size, shape, and prominence. In addition to congenital ear deformities, Dr. Jerome Liu and Dr. Tom Liu can also address issues stemming from injuries related to earrings and body modifications such as ear plugs/gauges. Consultations typically last about 30 minutes.
A few weeks prior to the procedure, patients will schedule a pre-operative appointment. At this time, they will receive essential information and instructions on how to prepare for recovery from otoplasty. They will also be advised to avoid certain medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, which can thin the blood. Patients who will be receiving local anesthesia may eat something light before they arrive; however, individuals undergoing sedation may not consume any food or drink after midnight the night before their surgery.
About the Operation
Otoplasty typically takes one to two hours, depending on the technique used and specific issues being addressed. In most cases, the operation can be performed in-office using local anesthesia; however, individuals with complex cases and young children will be placed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility under the care of our experienced plastic surgeons and a skilled anesthesiologist. Patients will also need a responsible adult to take them home and care for them for 24 hours after the procedure.
Most otoplasty procedures require minimal downtime and recovery, and adults and older children can often return to work or school within a few days. Younger children typically need more time away from school, and they should be monitored during play so they do not injure the newly positioned ears. A special head dressing will be used for the first four to five days, until the splints are removed. After that, a headband should be worn at night for the first one to two weeks, or as long as advised by Dr. Jerome Liu and Dr. Tom Liu, to help maintain the results. Our plastic surgeons will carefully and attentively support the patient through the complete recovery process.
Contact Our Practice
Otoplasty can improve the appearance of the ears and raise raise self-esteem for patients who are self-conscious about the size or shape of their ears. For more information about ear surgery, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jerome Liu and Dr. Tom Liu, please contact our office today.