What is an Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)?
Otoplasty is surgery to correct, reconstruct or reshape the ear. Changing the shape of the ear can be done for either cosmetic or functional reasons. Some types of ear changes that can be made by Dr. Paciorek are:
- Ear Augmentation- fix underdeveloped or non-existent pinna (Microtia)
- Flatten Protruding Ears (Otopexy)
- Reduce Ear Size - when the pinna is too big (Macrotia).
An otoplasty should be done after the ears are full size. Most children's ears will be full size by five years old. The surgery can create missing folds by remodeling the cartilage and positioning the ear closer to the head.
The procedure can be done with sedation supplemented with local anesthesia. In children, general anesthesia is used. A small incision is made behind the ear. The procedure lasts approximately one to two hours. The thin scar is localized behind the ear and out of view. The scar will fade over time and should become barely noticeable.
What You Can Expect:
After your consultation with the doctor, a customized procedure and follow up plan will be made for you. Dr. Paciorek uses a proprietary delicate touch method which will support your healing process. The surgical procedure will be done in our private in-office surgical suite with your own individual recovery area and nurse. Typically, an otoplasty takes about an hour.
The surgical procedure includes a small incision behind the ear and in the natural fold where the ear is joined to the head. Cartilage and skin will be removed and/or added to achieve the correct results. Cartilage may added or sculpted used to form a desirable shape and sutured into place.
After Your Otoplasty Procedure:
Our staff will care for you in our private recovery area and you will be able to leave the office through a separate exit. You will be assisted in your recovery process by our trained nurses and support staff. Your recovery and healing process may include:
- Bandages over the ears for several days after surgery.
- A supportive loose headband is worn over the ears at night- once bandages are removed.
- Return to school or work within a week of the surgical procedure.
- Regular activity and exercise can restart within two weeks.
- Post-surgical numbness may continue for several weeks.
- Bruising may be present for up to two weeks.
- Ears may feel stiff for several months.
- Soreness, particularly at night, can last for a few months.
A change in shape will not affect hearing. Although the ears’ folds and convolutions do serve to concentrate and localize sound waves, routine surgery to pin back or reshape ears will not produce a noticeable change in hearing.
Ear surgery can offer a real emotional boost, in addition to its cosmetic benefits.
Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is purely for cosmetic reasons. Surgery to correct or improve birth defects or traumatic injuries may be reimbursable in whole or in part. It is the patient’s responsibility to check with the insurance carrier for information on the degree of coverage.