At some point in time, we have all dreamed that we had the ability to fly. In those dreams, it is unlikely we were flapping our ears like Dumbo in this Disney debut. Many people are born with varying abnormalities of the outside part of the ear that can be repaired by your Charlotte otoplasty surgeon. Commonly children and adults will seek correction of ears that “stick out” or do not have the normal contour of an ear. Otoplasty is the surgical procedure to correct these issues. I will answer some basic questions regarding this procedure.
What is the best age for a child to have their ears set-back?
I recommend correcting prominent ears before the child starts school around age 5. At this time, the ear is approximately 80% of adult size, and correction at this time will prevent any psychological harm, such as, teasing that the child might encounter.
What does the sugery entail?
Otoplasty surgery is dependent on the type and severity of the ear abnormality. It can range from a simple incision behind the ear using a few sutures to a more complicated procedure that entails cartilage removal, grafting and/or scoring. Children will need to be placed under general anesthesia while adults can be done under general or “twilight” sedation.
What is the recovery like?
The main issue in children is preventing trauma to the ear while it is healing. Children will have to be out of sports for 2-3 weeks and may need to wear a protective bandage while they sleep during this time. They cannot get the ear wet for 48 hours. The procedure is not very painful and children and adults feel pretty good after a couple of days.
How much does an otoplasty cost?
Otoplasty cost are dependent on the operating room fee, anesthesiologist, and the cosmetic surgeon. Combining those numbers will determine the overall cost. It will also depend on the complexity of the case.
Is there a way to repair ears that are abnormal or “stick out” without surgery?
Children less than 1 year old have soft and compliant ear cartilage. Using specially made splints, the ear can be molded into its correct shape over a period of weeks to months. This can create a normally appearing ear and prevent surgery later on in life.
As a Charlotte based cosmetic otoplasty surgeon, I treat each ear uniquely and develop tailored treatment plans for patients seeking corrective surgery for their ears.