Otoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to minimize the appearance of prominent ears by setting them back closer to the head or by reducing the size of large ears. Ear correction is most often performed on children after the age of 5 or teenagers with protruding ears. Correction of most ear deformities is also available for adults.
Otoplasty is performed by Dr. Hand in our accredited Marin County outpatient surgical facility. The procedure is always performed under general anesthesia for children and the option of general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation is available for adults.
After injecting local anesthesia, the incision is made in the crease behind the ear. The cartilage is exposed and the rim of the ear is reshaped and folded so that it is set back to ½ inch from the side of the head. The ear is secured with sutures which hold it in place. The sutures are absorbable and will self-dissolve. Otoplasty is completed in 1-2 hours.
The earlobes can also be reduced to a smaller size at the same time or as a separate procedure. If an earlobe reduction is the only procedure required in correcting the ear, it is always performed under local anesthesia and requires no down time.
Recuperation and Healing
A dressing will be applied by Dr. Hand immediately after surgery and will be removed the following day. The patient will be required to wear a thick headband for the next several days constantly and while sleeping for the first two weeks. There will is usually minimal soreness and swelling that is easily controlled by oral pain medications. Normal activities may be resumed after 2-3 days. Organized sports should be avoided for 6 weeks.