What Is Ear Surgery?

Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a procedure to reduce protrusion of the ear away from the head. Ear surgery is performed the most for children between four and fourteen years of age. Ears that stick out are often the source of teasing and ridicule in young children. This can have a devastating effect on the child’s psyche.

Otoplasty is not limited to children and may also be performed on older patients. Cosmetic procedures are available for those individuals with large ears and those with congenital (birth) irregularities that detract from their appearance. 

Additionally, an individual’s ears may exhibit abnormal traits due to genetic makeup or an accidental injury, such as losing an ear or part of an ear. Otoplasty is used successfully for each of these situations. Regardless of the procedure, New Jersey patients have been pleased with the long-lasting improvements to their appearance offered by ear pinning surgery.

Why Do We Need Ear Surgery?

Ear surgery is performed primarily for cosmetics, but there are many reasons or experiences that can cause someone to seek out otoplasty. As previously mentioned, children can become highly self-conscious when other children use the shape of their ears as something to tease about, but adults are equally as susceptible to feelings of self-consciousness. Someone who has dealt with those feelings their entire life is likely ready to claim their confidence and finally be comfortable in their own skin. 

Unfortunately, no other procedure besides ear surgery can address these cosmetic concerns. While facial blemishing and even wrinkles and fine lines can be treated with nonsurgical procedures to some degree, there is nothing available on the market that can address the size or protrusion of the ears. We need ear surgery because, frankly, there are no other options. 

What Does Ear Surgery Treat?

Ear surgery can treat a list of different conditions, including:

  • – Pinning the ears back if they “stick out” too much
  • – Correcting folded ear tips (lop ear)
  • – Reshaping long or offset earlobes
  • – Enhancing very small ears or other congenital defects
  • – Remedying an accidental injury, including the loss of an ear

Am I a Candidate for Ear Surgery?

Ear surgery can be performed on any skin type, texture or complexion. There are no limits on who can have this procedure performed other than health and safety concerns. Generally, the best candidates are those who:

  1. Maintain an active and healthy lifestyle   poor cardiovascular health or being overweight can increase the likelihood of developing a complication during your procedure or experience sub-par healing.
  2. Avoid excessive alcohol — alcoholism or other excessive drinking habits will deter your recovery, results and put you at a much higher surgical complication risk. 
  3. Do not smoke — It is well documented that smoking cigarettes or using other nicotine and tobacco products can significantly decrease your body’s ability to heal itself. This reduces the chances that your wounds heal correctly and risks your final results’ integrity. 
  4. Are younger — Generally, the age of 5 is when the ears are developmentally at the best place to change since the cartilage is still malleable. While it is easier for children, adults can also have the procedure performed, but it is much more tedious for the surgeon. 
  5. Are in good general health — Some of the only factors that can prevent you from having otoplasty performed are preexisting conditions. Generally, these diagnoses are rare, and if you do have one, our team can work with you to identify an alternative and safe path forward to achieve your cosmetic goals.
  6. Have the procedure for themselves — You should only ever have cosmetic surgery to improve your own self-image or improve on something you care about. You should never have it done to satisfy anyone else or achieve an unrealistic body image. 
  7. Have realistic expectations — If you think that ear surgery can improve your appearance more than what is actually possible, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment regardless of how successful the procedure is. Make sure you ask plenty of questions and do abundant research to understand what is achievable. 

How Should I Prepare for Ear Surgery?

There are a few obligatory steps before, during, and after your procedure. Here is a semi-comprehensive list of some of the most common instructions that patients receive:

  • – You may need to have blood work or other lab testing performed, especially if you are dealing with preexisting conditions that could impact your safety during the surgery. 
  • – You may be asked to adjust or quit certain medications that are not safe to take in combination with anesthesia. 
  • – You will be asked to immediately stop smoking to ensure you receive the best results possible and the safest recovery achievable.  
  • – You will be asked to stop taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications and herbal supplements since they can increase surgical bleeding. 
  • – You will be given a list of preoperative instructions to follow that have been customized to your needs.
  • – You will be given a list of postoperative instructions to follow that will be customized to how your body handles the healing process and your medical history. 

Recovery Station

We always recommend that our patients create a recovery station for themselves wherever they will be resting. Stocking an area with chargers, electronics, remotes, books, magazines, medications, snacks, drinks, or other entertainment or necessities will prevent you from expending unnecessary energy, allowing your body to heal as efficiently as possible. While you should always get up and walk around a bit to get your blood pumping, overexerting yourself can risk the integrity of your recovery process. 

What Should I Expect from an Ear Surgery Procedure?

Otoplasty is commonly performed under general anesthesia for children and local anesthesia for adults. The standard otoplasty procedure brings the ears closer to the head. Otoplasty begins with an incision hidden in the crease behind the ear. This incision allows the cartilage located behind the ears to be reshaped in order to position them closer to the head. The procedure takes approximately one to two hours, depending upon the extent of the surgery.

There are various surgical techniques involved in correcting irregularities other than protruding ears. These techniques can be discussed with your physician during the initial consultation.

What Should I Expect During Ear Surgery Recovery?

After the surgery is completed, large bandages will be wrapped around the head. This method secures the ear in place and assists with the healing process. The bandages are usually removed within a week and replaced with smaller dressings. Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery. Any pain can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from an Ear Surgery?

The results of your ear surgery will be both immediate and permanent. It may take a few weeks for the swelling and bruising to subside, but as soon as it does you will be able to see a very clear idea of what your results will look like from that point forward. Dressing and bandages are often used to ensure that the ears heal properly in place, and it is important that you follow all postoperative instructions that you are given to maximize your results.

While the scarring will be noticeable directly after the procedure, the lines will fade as time passes. Since all the incisions are made within the natural folds of the ear and are hidden by the cartilage, the scars eventually become virtually invisible.  

How Much Does Ear Surgery Cost?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of cosmetic ear surgery in 2020 was $3,736. While this is a good ballpark estimate, you should remember that your exact cost will depend on your unique condition and aesthetic goals. During your initial consultation, our office will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate so that you know exactly what to expect as you move forward through the process. 

Expert Ear Surgery in Voorhees, NJ

If you are ready to learn more about how ear surgery can improve your confidence and finally provide you with the appearance you have always desired, schedule a consultation with our office by calling (856) 784-2639. You can also fill out our online contact form to have a member of our team give you a call at a more convenient time.