An otoplasty (“ear job”) will set prominent ears back closer to the head or reduce the size of large ears. Although commonly believed to be performed mostly on children, this is also performed on adults who never addressed it when younger. The procedure is typically performed through an incision behind the ear, removing some cartilage and placing sutures so the ear is smaller, less prominent, and set closer to the head.
Dr. Caridi's Take
This is a straight forward relatively simple procedure in good hands. It’s a great way to reduce large or prominent ears. The incisions are behind the ears and not visible. The problem with the procedure is the possibility of some recurrance of the prominence as the cartilage springs back (this is easily treated with an additional suture). This is a high benefit low risk type of procedure.
Local or IV sedation based on patient preference.
Risks and Benefits:
Temporary pain or discomfort, swelling, bruising and numbness are most common. Less common problems would include infection of cartilage, excessive scarring, hematoma formation, and asymmetry of the ears. There is the possibility that the surgery will not correct the problem, as cartilage has “memory” and the problem may recur to a limited degree requiring an additional procedure or “touch up.” The benefits include less prominent, normal looking ears and greater self esteem and less self consciousness about your ears.
Adults and children are usually up and around within a few hours of surgery. Most children go back to school in a few days, but need to refrain from contact sports for 1-2 months. The ears may throb or ache for a few days, but this can be relieved by medication. In most cases, ear surgery will leave a faint scar in the back of the ear that will fade with time. A compression headband must be worn as much as possible for the first several weeks.