WHAT IS EAR SURGERY OR OTOPLASTY?
Otoplasty is a generic term that describes surgical correction of an ear deformity.
The deformity can be from multiple causes such as genetics, trauma, or from cancer. Of note, the first otoplasty was performed by Rochester, NY physician Edward Talbot Ely in 1881. Otoplasty, or ear surgery can reshape the ears, improve their size or protrusion, or correct ear deformities. It can also improve the appearance of stretched or gauged earlobes. Even patients who are missing one or both ears from birth or injury can have new ears constructed with otoplasty. Dr. Graham performs ear surgery at his Victor, NY practice to help normalize patients’ ears and improve their appearance, confidence, and self-image.
WHAT CAN TYPES OF THINGS CAN OTOPLASTY ADDRESS?
DEFORMITIES AND INJURIES
- Otoplasty can correct ear deformities or injuries such as lop ear, cupped ear, shell ear, and cauliflower ear. Surgery can help your ears look more natural so that they blend in well with your features
- Ears that noticeably stick out from the head or that are large or prominent may cause feelings of self-consciousness. Dr. Graham can perform otoplasty to make your ears smaller and lessen the degree to which they protrude from the side of your head. After surgery, your ears will look more balanced and will no longer draw attention.
- Some earlobes are naturally large or develop creases or wrinkles. Others may become stretched or develop unsightly holes due to wearing heavy earrings or gauges. Otoplasty can correct these issues and restore a more natural appearance to the earlobes.
- Some candidates for ear surgery are missing one or both ears due to injury or a congenital deformity. Missing the outer ears does not affect hearing, but it may draw unwanted attention. Dr. Graham can use natural tissues and cartilage to reconstruct a missing ear and restore your appearance.
- Many individuals experience self-esteem issues, poor self-confidence, and social anxiety or
ridicule due to the appearance of their ears. Children are particularly vulnerable to emotional and psychological trauma from the mockery from other children. Otoplasty can enhance your ears and boost your self-esteem and confidence
WHAT DOES OTOPLASTY SURGERY INVOLVE?
Otoplasty surgery is highly individualized as the types of deformities vary. The surgery could range from something as simple as a small tissue excision and closure at one extreme (such as with torn earlobes), or could involve harvesting rib cartilage and carving an entire new ear at the other. Most often otoplasty is for prominent ears or cupped ears. The surgery involves excising skin and cartilage from the main cup of the ear, known as the concha, followed by suturing the ear to either augment its folds or bring it closer to the side of the head. Surgery can also be performed for a constricted, or small ear.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR OTOPLASTY?
Any patient who has an abnormally prominent or shaped ear. The most likely and best candidates are children between the ages of 5-6 years of age. This is the optimal time for 2 reasons: first, the ear has reached 90% of its adult size at this time. The operated ear will not grow after surgery. Secondly, and as importantly, at ages 5-6 yrs old children become more self aware and this also coincides with the age a child might begin to be teased or ridiculed at school.
WHO IS A POOR CANDIDATE FOR OTOPLASTY?
Children under the age of 5 years old, as their ear cartilage is neither large enough or strong enough for surgery.
WILL I NEED TO BE ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL FOR OTOPLASTY?
No, otoplasty is an outpatient procedure for which you will go home the same day.
WHAT IS THE TYPICAL OTOPLASTY RECOVERY?
This varies on the type of surgery performed, but return to school or work is possible within a couple days. A headband will be worn for a full month thereafter. The headband will then be worn at night and during sports for an additional 3 weeks. Driving is possible within 48 hours when one is off of narcotics.
HOW MUCH DOES EAR SURGERY, OTOPLASTY, COST?
The US average cost for ear surgery (otoplasty) is between $5-6000. Dr. Graham’s otoplasty surgery pricing can be found here.
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