Ear surgery, which refers to otoplasty, or ear pinning surgery, as well as earlobe reduction and earlobe repair surgery, can correct a variety of ear deformities and problems. Otoplasty, or ear pinning, and earlobe reduction surgery are typically sought for cosmetic reasons, whereas earlobe repair surgery is essentially a reconstructive procedure.
Is ear surgery right for you?
Unlike most cosmetic surgery procedures, ear surgery is commonly performed on younger patients between the ages of four and 14 because ear cartilage is most pliable at this time. Both children and adults typically seek ear surgery to correct ear deformities and problems including:
- Protruding ears
- Misshapen or asymmetric ears
- Split or torn earlobes
- Stretched earlobes
- Large or oversized earlobes
What to expect during ear surgery
Ear surgery is typically performed using local anesthesia with conscious sedation, however Dr. Weston may recommend general anesthesia for younger patients undergoing ear surgery.
During the otoplasty procedure, Dr. Weston will make a small incision behind each ear, hidden in the natural folds where your ears meet your head. Skin and cartilage are removed, trimmed and reshaped as needed. Finally, the cartilage is held in place by permanent sutures, effectively “pinning back” the ears. The entire procedure typically takes about two hours.
Earlobe repair surgery, on the other hand, takes only about 30 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia with a mild sedative if needed. Dr. Weston will use delicate surgical techniques and fine suture threads to ensure earlobe repair scars are nearly invisible.
Ear surgery recovery
If you have been sedated or placed under general anesthesia during ear surgery, you will need a ride home following the procedure.
Once the effects of anesthesia have worn off, adults can resume normal daily activities immediately following ear surgery, and children can return to school about a week after ear surgery. Vigorous activity should be avoided for a minimum of one week, and any activity that causes contact with or bending of the ear, including sleeping on your side, should be avoided for about three to four weeks.
Although ear surgery requires little to no downtime, soft dressings or ointment need to be kept on your incisions for a few days, and a headband that covers your ears may need to be worn to hold your ears in place for a couple of weeks after surgery.
Be sure to follow all post-operative care instructions and keep post-operative appointments with Dr. Weston, so she can check your progress and ensure you’ve achieved the best possible ear surgery results.