Otoplasty, or ear reshaping surgery, not only corrects large “bat” ears, but addresses a wide variety of issues including earlobe tears, asymmetry, and cartilage deformities.
What does ear reshaping surgery do?
Not many people put much thought into their ears, with the exception of those who have heard the taunts of “Dumbo” or “elephant” ears. Many ear deformities can easily be concealed by a clever hairstyle; however, some might be so severe that surgery is required. Otoplasty, or ear reshaping, is cosmetic surgery that resizes, shapes, or repositions one or both ears.
Otoplasty is a term that encompasses many different cosmetic procedures for ear shaping. The most common is ear pinning, also known as pinnaplasty. This procedure addresses ears that stick out too far from the side of the head, which often makes them appear larger and distracts from the rest of the face. Many children undergo this procedure successfully; however, as children get older they often grow into their ears, and it becomes unnecessary.
The procedure is relatively simple with few risks and complications. After numbing the area (general anaesthetic is often used beforehand) Dr Zurek, bat ear surgeon in Sydney will create incisions behind each ear. The cartilage in this area is then repositioned and molded. Plastic stitches are placed to hold the new shape and position and then the skin is stitched up, and dressing is applied. The results are ears that stick closer to the side of the head, eliminating the “Dumbo” effect.
Sagging ear lobes
Another form of ear reshaping gaining popularity is correction of sagging ear lobes or large holes leftover from ear stretching. Women who often wear large or heavy earrings find that over time the hole will become stretched, making it difficult to keep an earring held in place. The lobe may also become stretched, creating an unpleasant appearance.
Younger generations who have experimented with large gauge piercings also find that as they age, they dislike the sagging, stretched lobe that is left behind or the skin may have torn creating unsightly rips. In all of these cases, a cosmetic surgeon can help reconstruct the lobe and either eliminate the appearance of the hole or tighten it so earrings can be worn properly again. This is another fairly simple procedure with few risks and complications.
Otoplasty can also address misshapen cartilage or noticeable asymmetry. Cosmetic surgeons can reshape the cartilage and reposition the lobe to create a more balanced appearance. Although no two ears are possible to be matched exactly, major improvement can be made to where any imbalance is not readily detectable.
Risks and complications
Risks and complications for any otoplasty include infection, bleeding, removing too much cartilage, scarring, and swelling. There is also the chance of dissatisfaction with the results, but revision surgery is normally possible to make further corrections when necessary. Full recovery requires at least one week if not two before returning to work and other normal activities; however, some people find they feel comfortable enough after only four to five days.
Consult with a board-certified and qualified plastic surgeon to find out more about available procedures and surgical details. They can provide you with before and after photos of past patients as well as an in-depth explanation of what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.