Cosmetic ear surgery, Otoplasty, is beneficial to individuals dissatisfied with the appearance of their ears, including:
- Protruding ears
- Lop ear - top of the ear seems to fold down and forward
- Cupped ear - usually a very small ear
- Shell ear - the curve in the outer rim, as well as the natural folds and creases, are missing
- Large or stretched earlobes
- Lobes with large creases or wrinkles
Ear surgery usually takes about two to three hours, although complicated procedures may take longer. The technique will depend on the problem.
With one of the more common techniques, the surgeon makes a small incision in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. He will then sculpt the cartilage and bend it back toward the head. Non-removable stitches may be used to help maintain the new shape. Occasionally, the surgeon will remove a larger piece of cartilage to provide a more natural-looking fold when the surgery is complete.
Another technique involves a similar incision in the back of the ear. Skin is removed and stitches are used to fold the cartilage back on itself to reshape the ear without removing cartilage.
In most cases, ear surgery will leave a faint scar in the back of the ear that will fade with time. Even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually performed on both ears for a better balance.
Reconstructive Surgery of the Ear