Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)


Many infants are born with larger than average ears. Their ears may lack some of the definition and folds that characterize a “normal” ear. In certain cases, the ear can be convoluted or folded on itself. As the infant grows, the ear abnormality will only become more noticeable. As much as plastic surgeons would like to correct the large or deformed ear at a younger age, the ears just have not developed sufficiently. If we intervene too soon, the abnormal ear will continue to change too much after surgery, making results unpredictable. Surgical options for correction of such ear abnormalities are therefore typically performed at age 6-7. By 6–7 years old, the ears will have achieved 80% of their growth. It is also a special milestone for the children as they will be entering school at that age. Many people wait until adulthood to pursue surgical correction of their ears. The treatment is essentially the same regardless of your age.


Based on the appearance of the abnormal ear several treatment options are present. Surgical procedures involve pinning back the ears with special sutures, sculpting the ear cartilage to give it the necessary detail and size, or placing sutures within the cartilage to give it the folds and grooves which characterize a “normal” ear. All of these procedures can be performed either under light or full general anesthesia. A thin plastic drain is placed inside the wound to collect any oozing which might occur after surgery. A special bandage is also placed on the ear to apply even pressure, thereby minimizing any risk of oozing.

After the Surgery

After surgery, the head should be maintained in an elevated position. You can eat any type of food you wish after surgery. Light ice compresses can be applied over the ear. The plastic drain is typically removed 3-5 days after surgery. Most of the swelling is gone in two weeks, but the nice definition and form of the ear may not be appreciated for four to six weeks. Dr. Sayah will see you regularly in the office to assure that you are healing well and to answer any questions you may have.



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