Correcting Large or Asymmetric Ears
Ears that stick out prominently can unfortunately be a source of teasing for children or embarrassing photos and restricted hair styles for adults. Fortunately, prominent ears need not stick around, or stick out. The procedure to correct large ears is via an ear reduction surgery called an Otoplasty and is relatively easy to have done.
Otoplasty can be done on adults or children. For young children, I like to consider surgery around the age of 6. There are several reasons for this. The first is that the child is at an age when other children begin to notice and perhaps tease them about their ears. Another is that at age 6, children can express a desire to have their ears tucked back and are therefore apt to participate in their post-op care. Finally, by age 6 the ear has essentially reached its full adult size so that changes with growth are no longer an issue.
The procedure can be done under any type of anesthesia from a simple local to full general anesthesia. Typically I use “twilight” anesthesia and perform the surgery in my private operating room for ear pinning. All of the incisions are hidden behind the ear and are almost impossible to find a few months after surgery, even if you know right where to look.
Prominent ears can be the result of ears that lack the proper folding of the ear cartilage, or ears that have an abundance of cartilage that stands up to sharply against the head. Usually there is some mix of these two conditions. Either way, the ear can be corrected by weakening the cartilage, removing cartilage, and using carefully placed sutures under the skin to create the proper shape and angle of the ear.
In addition to correcting large ears, the same procedures can be used to correct ears that are unequal. It may be that either ear by itself looks fine, but that they are so different that they attract attention. In that case it may only be necessary to operate on one ear, though usually to achieve good symmetry both ears need to be altered.
The night after surgery a puffy white bandage surrounds the head and protects the ears. This bandage is removed the day after surgery. In adults, usually only a light dressing (head band) need be worn while sleeping to protect the ears from being pulled when rolling over in bed. In children, I usually like to replace the bandage for a period of time that varies by the childs expected activity level. After one month, no bandage need be worn at any time by anyone.
The earlobe procedure is not particularly painful. The first day or two they will be sore and some light pain medication will be necessary. After that, they will be sore if bumped for a few weeks and then they will seem just like normal ears. Typically, there is no noticable bruising or swelling, meaning that a long weekend is probably all the recovery time you will need before returning to most social and business activities in Austin.
Before and 2 months after Otoplasty surgery