Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)

Offered at our convenient location in Cottonwood Heights, Utah

otoplasty procedure

Our ears usually do not receive much attention until they receive all the attention.

For some, the not so inconspicuous placement or protrusion of the ears can draw some unwanted attention. Whether misshapen from birth, enlargement with age, or defect due to trauma or injury, ear surgery can assist individuals with claiming their confidence! By bringing the ears into proportion with the other facial features, ear surgery can be the aesthetic solution you have been seeking! 

Otoplasty can improve the shape, size, position, and protrusion of the ears.

About

Otoplasty is cosmetic surgery of the auricle, or outer ears, that works to correct positioning, size, shape, and excessive protrusion.1 Otoplasty does not affect the patient’s hearing ability as only the outer ear is adjusted. Otoplasty is an outpatient procedure that can be performed once the ears have reached their full size – usually after age 5. Ear surgery can not only improve symmetry, but also bring a new air of self-esteem to patients who have encountered negative experiences because of their ears.

Benefits

There are many benefits of otoplasty. Patients usually experience a renewed sense of confidence in their appearance. For children and adults, alike, reducing or eliminating bullying and embarrassment that affects their emotional and psychological well-being is a profound benefit of ear surgery. In addition, otoplasty can reduce the amount the ears stick out from the sides of the head, address misshapen ears due to injury or defect, and decrease/increase the size of the auricle due to over- or underdevelopment, respectively.2 

Candidates

Ideal candidates for otoplasty are individuals who are in good health, have realistic expectations for ear surgery, and can follow straightforward directions. Also, patients experience dissatisfaction with the shape, size, or position of the ears, or have some defect due to birth, injury, or trauma to the ears. 

If you are a candidate for otoplasty in Cottonwood Heights, contact Clayton Plastic Surgery today to schedule a consultation.

Otoplasty Consultation

A private consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the first step in achieving your aesthetic goals. During the consultation, your surgeon will ask about your health and medical history and answer any questions you may have about otoplasty. From there, they will conduct a physical examination of your ears and possibly take photos for the medical record. 

If you are deemed a candidate for otoplasty, the surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare for surgery.

Pre-operative instructions may include to discontinue certain medications and to cease smoking. These actions may aid in lowering and potentially eliminating complications during or after surgery. 

After sharing their medical opinion and recommendations with you, your doctor will discuss an individualized treatment plan with you. This procedure plan will outline the doctor’s tailored approach to your otoplasty. 

Contact Dr. David Clayton today to schedule your one-on-one otoplasty consultation!

Otoplasty Procedure

Depending on the level of correction needed to achieve your optimal results, the techniques used by your plastic surgeon may vary. Also, the age of the patient may influence the procedure. 

Just before your procedure, the surgeon will meet with you to review the procedure plan. They will examine and mark your ears with a surgical marker. The markings will indicate anatomical landmarks, incision points, and/or the areas to be potentially excised or augmented. 

In the operating room, you will be provided with either a local anesthetic with sedation or general anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable during surgery. The surgeon will follow the markings in order to make incisions and the necessary corrections to your ears. 

Typically, an incision is made discreetly behind the ear to access the cartilage to be corrected. In other instances, incisions may be made on the front side of the ear, hidden beneath the anatomical folds. 

For very young infants (younger than 6 months), ear “pinning” may be appropriate. Pinning the ears back requires placing the auricles in splints for some time to shape the ears, as opposed to performing surgery. 

In many cases, both ears will be treated with surgery or pinning in order to achieve as much symmetry as possible. 

Your surgeon will close the incisions using either dissolvable or removable sutures. Dissolvable stitches do not require removal by the doctor after healing, as the material biodegrades. Other sutures will require a follow-up visit to have them removed by the physician. 

Do you have questions about ear surgery in Cottonwood Heights? Reach out to Clayton Plastic Surgery today for a private consultation.

Recovery

Following surgery, you can expect your ears to be covered with soft dressings. The dressings are to remain for a few days after your otoplasty procedure. You will need to avoid direct pressure to the ears for the following weeks to ensure proper healing. Once the dressings are removed, you may be directed to wear a soft headband that keeps the ears in position for an additional number of weeks. 

You may experience some discomfort as your ears may be swollen and tender. Sleep may be disrupted as you adjust to positions that alleviate pressure on the ears.3

Ear Surgery Results

Results from otoplasty are long-lasting! Immediately following the removal of your bandages, the results are immediately noticeable. Residual swelling and healing should remedy itself by month 3 or 4, post-op. Since the incisions will be placed in the natural creases of the ears, scarring will be minimal and hidden.

You will be able to enjoy your otoplasty results for years to come!

In addition to the enduring results, an increase in self-confidence, well-being, and comfort in your appearance will provide you with an enhanced quality of life! Even the slightest changes to your ears can make a world of difference in your appearance. 

Otoplasty Costs

Because of the individualized nature of otoplasty, costs will vary between patients. There are a number of factors to consider that will be unique to your case. These include the amount of correction needed to achieve your aesthetic goals, the surgeon’s expertise, and the location for your surgery. Once you attend a private consultation, your doctor will be able to provide you with the pricing details for your otoplasty. 

Complementary Procedures

Otoplasty may significantly alter your appearance for the better. Augmenting the results of your ear surgery with additional aesthetic procedures can maximize your results.

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

By removing excess fat pockets or skin around the eyes, you can achieve a more youthful and alert appearance. In addition, blepharoplasty can improve the visual field obstructed by drooping eyelids.

Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)

Shaping the nose to further complement the face can provide you with more balanced facial features. Rhinoplasty can reduce the size of the nose, as well as improve and address defects caused from birth or trauma. 

Rhytidectomy (Facelift)

A facelift will address excess skin and obvious signs of aging in the face. Through dissecting and smoothing the skin, you will be able to reclaim your youth!

Injectables

Achieving an overall supple profile can prove to be the ideal change you are looking for. Minimally-invasive neuromodulators and dermal fillers can provide your face with wrinkle reduction and targeted contouring. Plumping your cheeks, hollows of your eyes, lips, and unwanted folds of the skin can smooth and shape your face as subtly or significantly as you desire.

FAQ

Will otoplasty improve my hearing?

Otoplasty is cosmetic surgery of the outer ear. It is not meant to impact your ability to hear as none of the internal structures are manipulated in otoplasty. Not to be mistaken for otolaryngology which is the branch of medicine, including surgery, that deals with issues of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), head, and neck. While some otolaryngologists (ENT specialists) may perform otoplasty, you may opt to see an ENT if you also have functional impairment with your ears. 

How long does ear surgery take?

Otoplasty can typically take about 2 hours to complete. Of course, your specific case is unique to you, so surgery may take less or more time.

Will insurance cover the cost of the otoplasty?

Otoplasty may or may not be covered by insurance. Only in cases of reconstruction due to defect or trauma that may impact ear functionality may the otoplasty procedure be covered by insurance. It is recommended that you contact your insurance carrier and surgeon to learn more about your cost coverage options. 

Can I have ear surgery on one side?

Yes! If you are experiencing protrusion of one ear, you may undergo otoplasty on the affected ear. This will be an attempt to make the ears more symmetrical. 

Additional Resources

  1. Mayo Clinic. (2018). Otoplasty. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/otoplasty/about/pac-20394822  
  2. Felman, A. (2017). Should I have Otoplasty? Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246767.php 
  3. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2019). Ear Pinning.  Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/otolaryngology/specialty_areas/facial-plastic-reconstructive/cosmetic/ear-pinning.html 
  4. McIntosh, J. (2018). What do otolaryngologists do? Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287230.php#common-procedures