Otoplasty or cosmetic ear surgery, is used to reshape one or both ears. Patients who are dissatisfied with the size, shape or orientation of their ears can alter their appearance through this outpatient procedure. Otoplasty also includes ear/earlobe reduction and cauliflower ear surgery to remove and recontour excess skin and cartilage. Because the ears are very prominent, many cosmetic ear surgery patients experience a significant increase in confidence and self-esteem once their ears have been given a more desirable appearance.
Cartilage scoring techniques involve creating incisions in the cartilage to rearrange, add, or remove the tissue. There is a greater risk of scarring when these techniques are used, but those scars are difficult to see. Cartilage sparing techniques use stitches and sutures to change the ear’s position and shape. A cartilage sparing otoplasty surgery is non-invasive, often resulting in smooth, natural-looking curvatures.
Reconstructive ear surgery is a form of otoplasty used to correct deformities or injuries. It is commonly used to correct Microtia, a congenital defect of the ear that occurs in about three out of every 10,000 live births. Injuries that call for reconstructive ear surgery include burns, lacerations, and infected or torn piercings. Reconstructive ear surgery blends a variety of surgical techniques and other reconstructive procedures to recreate a natural-looking human ear.
In some cases, cartilage can be removed from the patient’s ribs to augment the ear and help it attain a more natural appearance. If a skin graft is necessary, tissue is usually transferred from the patient’s upper buttock area.
The stitches are removed after 14 days postoperatively. Postoperatively, a compression bandage or an elastic band must be worn for a period of 10-14 days, while the patient will avoid trauma to the ears for a period of approximately 30 days.