BlogNew Season Favorites: Otoplasty

Perhaps you were born with misshapen ears or suffered an injury later in life that altered the shape of your ears. Otoplasty, or ear reshaping surgery, may be right for you. Traditionally, otoplasty was performed on children between the ages of four and fourteen. Recently, new treatments have been developed that can reshape the ears of infants from birth to three months of age. With so much focus on ear repairs for children, adults may think there are no surgical options available to them to correct the shape or position of their ears. Fortunately, that is not the case. Otoplasty is becoming a popular procedure among New Jersey adults. Dr. Vasisht and his expert staff at South Shore Plastic Surgery have extensive experience correcting ear abnormalities in adults—helping men and women feel less self-conscious about their ears and more confident about their appearance.

How Can Otoplasty Help Me?

Otoplasty is a surgical procedure that can alter the position, proportion and shape of the ear. It offers transformative results, giving patients renewed confidence. Patients may seek otoplasty if they have:

  • An ear deformity due to an injury or birth defect
  • Disproportionately large or small ears
  • Ears that protrude or stick out
  • Uneven ears in relation to the head and face
  • A missing ear
  • Oblong or deformed earlobes
  • The need to correct a previous ear surgery

Preparing for Otoplasty

The most important factor in preparing for otoplasty is to choose an experienced surgeon to perform your surgery. Fortunately, Dr. Vasisht fits the bill. A double-board certified New Jersey plastic surgeon, Dr. Vasisht possesses both the knowledge and expertise to beautifully restore the appearance of your ears. Scheduling a consultation before surgery is vital to ensuring that your goals are in line and achievable with otoplasty. During your consultation, Dr. Vasisht will review your health history, assess your ears, listen to your concerns and recommend the best course of treatment to achieve your desired goals.

Otoplasty Procedure Details

General anesthesia, intravenous sedation or local anesthesia is administered based on your needs and the extent of your surgery. Once you are comfortable, incisions are strategically made based on the correction you are having performed—usually behind the ear or hidden in the folds of the ear—to minimize their visibility and scarring. Internal, permanent sutures are placed in the cartilage and tissues of the ear to make the desired corrections. Once the revision is complete, external stitches are used to carefully close the incisions, and a bandage is wrapped around the ears and head. After a period of time in the recovery room, most patients can go home.

Recovery from Otoplasty

After your surgery and for the next week you will wear a bandage around your head and ears to keep the area clean, hold the ears in place and provide protection to the surgical site. You may experience mild bruising, swelling and pain after surgery. This is normal and is usually managed with oral pain medication.

Take it easy the first week, avoid exertion and be careful not to bump your ears. Sleep on your back, keeping your head elevated to prevent pressure on your ears. Choose clothing that doesn’t go over your head to prevent clothing from pulling down on your ears. Don’t wash your hair or use a blow dryer to ensure that your ears and the surgical area are kept dry and cool. Most patients can return to work and normal daily activities about one week after surgery.

Approximately one week after surgery, you will return to see Dr. Vasisht for a follow-up appointment. This appointment will be your first opportunity to see your new ears. While they may be red and swollen, you will be able to see the transformative results of your surgery. During this office visit, Dr. Vasisht will remove the bandages, assess the incisions and apply new bandages to the ears. At this time, and as directed by Dr. Vasisht, you can plan to return to work or school and resume normal activities. However, continue to be cautious and avoid activities that could harm your ears in any way.

As your incisions heal and the swelling diminishes, the appearance of your ears will continue to improve over the next month. During this time, continue to be careful with your ears and avoid any activities that could bump, pull or jar your ears. You will be given a soft headband to wear that will hold your ears in place. Wear it as directed to ensure that your ears heal properly and in the correct position. Approximately six weeks after surgery, your ears should be completely healed.

Risks

As with any surgery or procedure, there are risks associated with otoplasty. Although uncommon, some patients may experience bleeding, scarring, infection, temporary changes in sensation at the surgical site or stitches that pull out. Also, in rare instances, the healing process can cause asymmetry in ear positioning or create an unnatural appearance if the ears are too harshly “pinned” back. Finally, some patients may react to anesthesia. Inform Dr. Vasisht of any previous reactions to, or complications from, anesthesia.

To ensure a full and rapid recovery, carefully follow the home-care instructions provided after surgery and be careful not to engage in activities that could harm your ears. If you have questions or concerns at any time throughout your recovery, call us so that we can help you assess the situation.

If you never thought ear correction surgery was an option for you, think again. Call South Shore Plastic Surgery today at 856-784-2639 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Vasisht will show you how otoplasty can permanently transform your ears and enhance your appearance.

Author: New Jersey Plastic Surgeon: Bhupesh Vasisht, MD, FACS, Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.