Otoplasty (Ear Reshaping) The Woodlands
What is an otoplasty?
An otoplasty is also known as ear surgery or ear reshaping.
Clients that benefit from this surgery are those with ears that are abnormally large, disproportionate to the head, or those that have ears that stick out from the head (prominent ear). Kids (after age six) and adults can be candidates for this surgery.
Medications (prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal) that can lead to excessive post-operative bleeding are stopped two weeks before the surgery, if the prescribing physician clears the patient to stop them. The procedure is usually done in an outpatient surgery center. In very young kids, sometimes splinting the ears, alone, is enough to fix the deformity. However, most of the time, in adults and in kids, a small incision is made on the back of the ear and excess skin and cartilage is removed. The cartilage is also reshaped through various maneuvers. The scars are well hidden. The surgery usually takes one to two and a half hours.
After the surgery, a prescription for narcotic pain medications is given. After the surgery, a bolster dressing will be place on the ears and a wrap will be placed around the head. It is very important to keep this wrap in place. Clients are also encouraged to keep their heads elevated as much as possible and to not lie on the operated ears. Clients are usually seen on the first post-operative day and the dressings are replaced. Clients are then seen again around the seventh day and if sutures are in place they are removed at that time. Clients can typically get back to work in one week and can resume heavy physical activity in six weeks as long as there is no risk of trauma to the ear. Results will be obvious at two weeks but small changes can occur for up to one year after the operation.
Complications in otoplasty are rare. Post-operative bleeding (hematoma) or infection can occur. If post-operative bleeding occurs, this needs to be addressed soon as it can greatly diminish the cosmetic outcome of the operation.
Unfavorable results include under-correction of the deformity or asymmetry between the two ears. Numbness of the ear and surrounding area can sometimes occur.
Jeffrey G. Lind II, MD and The Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery offer quality care for otoplasty clients in The Woodlands and Houston, Texas area.