Otoplasty, is a facial plastic surgical procedure designed to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the ears. Often patients who need otoplasty are children with large protruding ears, but sometimes adults are bothered by their ear position and contour and undergo otoplasty. Otoplasty is more than simply “pinning” the ears back. Precise suturing of the ears is essential to gain the contours that are often missing in protruding ears, and exact removal of cartilage can be necessary to achieve symmetry, and maintain a natural position and shape to the ears.

The Technique

Otoplasty can be performed under local anesthesia, sedation or a general anesthetic dependent on the age and comfort of the patient. The incisions for otoplasty are hidden behind the ears, and the cartilage is reshaped as necessary. Once the ears are repositioned, the incisions are sutured closed and a light compressive dressing is applied. Otoplasty is an outpatient procedure and patients are able to go home the same day.

The Recovery

The morning after the surgery, board-certified facial plastic surgeon Scott Shadfar, MD will see the patient in clinic and check all incisions, remove the head wrap and go over all wound care measures. Swelling and bruising can be seen, however only mild pain or soreness is associated with Otoplasty. The sutures are removed on day 7 after the surgery, and an eleastic headband is worn at all times over the ears for the next week. During the next month the headband is only worn at night to protect the ears while sleeping. Patients usually have minimal downtime of 1-2 weeks before returning to work, and we ask those patients traveling from out of town to stay for routine checks during the first week.