Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)

Serving Chattanooga, Tennessee

Unfortunately, children can easily become the subject of ridicule by their peers. This can be particularly true for children with protruding or malformed ears.

Otoplasty, a procedure to correct ear abnormalities, is one of the most popular procedures performed on children, typically between the ages of four and fourteen. This procedure can correct any issues relating to ear shape and projection, but does not affect ear function.

Although it is preferable to perform otoplasty on children because the cartilage is more pliable, adults can also have the procedure performed with similar success.

Your Otoplasty Procedure

Otoplasty is a simple outpatient procedure that can be performed using local anesthesia with a sedative or under general anesthesia. There are two methods that can be performed on the ear depending on the extent of correction needed and surgeon’s preference.

Basic ear pinning

If the correction needed is less severe, your cosmetic surgeon may decide to use this technique. Initially, a small incision will be made at the back of the ear. The ear will then be drawn closer to the head by placing permanent stitches to hold the ear’s shape.

There will also be removable or dissolving stitches placed on the skin incision. The goal with reconstructive ear surgery is to give the ear a more natural angle to the head and normal projection. Pinning the ear back with this technique is typically sufficient to give the ear a natural look.

Even if only one ear must be corrected, it is generally recommended that both ears be operated on to achieve symmetry to the face and head.

Reshaping and pinning

For a severe correction where the ear is malformed or too large, your surgeon may choose to not only pin, but reshape the ear. For this technique, the surgeon will make a small incision in the back of the ear, giving him access to the cartilage.

From there, he will reshape the ear cartilage to give a more natural appearance. At the conclusion of the surgery, the ear will generally be pinned closer to the head using permanent stitches.

As with basic ear pinning, both ears will generally be corrected in order to maintain facial symmetry.

Malformed Ear Lobes

Sometimes, the ear lobe becomes deformed because of earring use and piercing. In these cases, a plastic surgeon can easily correct and reshape the ear to return it to a more natural and youthful appearance.

If you would like to know more about reconstructive ear surgery, or to set up an initial consultation, please contact our qualified Tennessee cosmetic surgeons for more information.