Otoplasty, also known simply as ear surgery, is a procedure that brings a more natural, balanced shape to the ears, as well as proportion to the face. Otoplasty can correct natural defects from birth or treat ears damaged by injury. At the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, we understand that the correction of even minor defects can have a profound effect on confidence and self-esteem, and our staff has performed numerous otoplasty procedures safely and successfully.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR OTOPLASTY?
The correction of even minor imperfections can have major benefits, not the least of which is increased self-esteem and generally improved appearance. You may be a candidate for otoplasty if any of the following apply to you:
- Macrotia – a condition characterized by overly large ears.
- Ears that protrude on one or both sides (prominent ears)
- Uneven ears that disrupt symmetry of the face
Otoplasty is usually not performed on children younger than five years old, because the cartilage is not yet stable enough to support ear surgery. Candidates should be generally healthy, non-smokers, and not have chronic medical conditions that cause impairment of the healing process.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR CONSULTATION
Each otoplasty is highly individualized according to your personal desires and needs. During a consultation at the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, we walk you through every step of the procedure, review the associated risks, and discuss recovery. We thoroughly review your medical history, including known allergies, current medications, and past surgeries.
HOW OTOPLASTY IS PERFORMED
After anesthesia, incisions are made behind the ear and on its back surface to hide any potential scarring. If it is necessary to make incisions on the front of the ear, they are made within or near the folds, to be hidden from view.
Different surgical techniques are used depending on the type of correction; for example, in the case of protruding ears, the surgeon will reduce the conchal cartilage (the largest indentation of the external ear). Other corrections may include increasing or even creating an antihelical fold (the inside rim of the ear) and securing the ear back to reduce the protrusion or prominence of the ear.
Otoplasty often uses internal sutures that secure newly-shaped cartilage in place, and external sutures to close incision sites.
RECOVERY AFTER OTOPLASTY
Discomfort and some amount of pain are normal after ear surgery. Patients will be given medication to ensure comfort. Bandages should remain intact until removed by your surgeon, and patients should avoid any contact with the ears as they heal, or there may be a loss in the correction. The results of otoplasty are immediately apparent, and scars are hidden in natural creases and folds whenever possible.
POTENTIAL RISKS OF OTOPLASTY
The risks most commonly associated with ear surgery are:
- Hematoma (blood clots)
- Skin discoloration
- Change in skin sensation
- Relapse (recurrence of the original deformity)
At the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, we take every measure possible to prevent any potential complication from arising. All of our surgical procedures are performed at top hospitals in Chicago and CMS or AAAASF-certified surgical centers for safety.
WHAT DOES OTOPLASTY COST?
The national average for aesthetic ear surgery in the United States is approximately $3,000, though that figure will vary according to location, surgeon, clinic, and your individualized treatment plan. Many plastic surgery clinics offer patient financing options, so be sure to discuss this during your initial consultation.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago is equally committed to patient education and excellent patient care. If you have any questions about ear surgery and how it is performed, please schedule a consultation. We perform a full facial evaluation and tailor a treatment plan that is right for your personal desired outcome, and we never perform a procedure unless we are certain that it is the right option for you.