Otoplasty (Cosmetic Ear Surgery, “Pinning Back Ears”)
Otoplasty consists of reshaping and remodeling protruding ears. The procedure is frequently performed in childhood, though adults occasionally undergo the procedure as well.
Older techniques are centered on removing cartilage from the ear to enhance its shape. Dr. Samaha prefers modern techniques which reshape rather than remove the ear cartilage to redirect it and align it more proportionately with the patient’s facial features.
In younger patients with protruding ears, it is frequently advisable to perform the surgery prior to starting school to avoid psychological adversity. When the child reaches age 4 to 6, the ear has grown sufficiently to allow the surgery to be performed safely. In adults, the surgery can be performed at any age.
The Day of the surgery
Patients are able to go home within one hour following surgery. There is a dressing on the ears. This dressing is removed the next day and replaced with a lighter dressing or a headband for the next 4-5 days. There is no need for stitch removal as the sutures used by Dr. Samaha dissolve spontaneously. The scar after otoplasty is hidden behind the ear.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the restrictions after surgery?
The main restriction is the avoidance of strenuous activity, which includes vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for one week. Other maneuvers that increase the pressure in the head are also to be avoided. These include straining and bending forward. Otherwise, patients may carry out usual activities.
How long is the recovery?
Recovery time is usually about 7-10 days. Patients are usually comfortable returning to school or work after 5 to 7 days, some prior.
Can the ears return to a protruding position after some time?
The ears are held in position by sutures in the short term and by the healing that takes place after the first few weeks, in the long term. Therefore, it is very unusual for the ears to protrude out again at a later date.