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Ear Reshaping (Otoplasty) FAQ

 

Frequently asked questions about ear reshaping (otoplasty)

What is ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

What are the changes in the ears that cause people to seek ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

What type of anesthesia is used for ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

How long does the ear reshaping (otoplasty) take?

When can I go back to work after ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

What is the process for getting a ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

What is ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

Ear reshaping (otoplasty) is a surgical procedure that improves the shape of the ears. The ear reshaping (otoplasty) procedure surgically reshapes the cartilage of the ears which in turn changes the appearance of the ears. There are many different issues that can occur in the ear that cause patients to seek ear reshaping (otoplasty). The most common cause for patients to seek ear reshaping (otoplasty) is prominent ears, which means the ears stick too far out from the side of the head. This is usually not a medical problem, but is an appearance concern.

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What are the changes in the ears that cause people to seek ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

There are two common changes in the ears that cause patients to seek ear reshaping (otoplasty). Both of these changes result in the ear being more prominent to some degree. The first change is an overgrowth or adverse shaping of the conchal cartilage. This is the part of the ear just behind the hearing canal. If it is overgrown or misshaped then it can make the ear appear more prominent. The second change that can occur is a flattening or an unfolding of the antihelix of the ear. This is the part of the ear that is usually a gentle fold just in front of the outer rim of the ear. If this part of the ear is flattened or unfolded then it can make the ear appear more prominent.

In the basic ear reshaping (otoplasty), these two parts of the ear are reshaped to make the ear less prominent. In addition, there is often asymmetry, which means the right and the left ears do not match. Asymmetry in the body in common and is usually not noticed unless it is severe. In some patients a unilateral (one side) ear reshaping (otoplasty) is done so that the ears are more matched. There are other problems of the ear that can be changed with the ear reshaping (otoplasty) procedure in addition to the two main changes as described above. There are many different excellent ear reshaping (otoplasty) procedures to help improve the shape of the ear depending on the specific problem that needs correction.

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What type of anesthesia is used for ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

The ear reshaping (otoplasty) can be done with intravenous anesthesia plus local anesthesia, and sometimes can be done with local anesthesia alone. Many surgeons prefer to use a combination of intravenous anesthesia and local anesthesia for ear reshaping (otoplasty) to increase the patient’s comfort.

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How long does the ear reshaping (otoplasty) take?

Most ear reshaping (otoplasty) procedures can be done in one to two hours.

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When can I go back to work after ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

Most patients can go back to work in five to seven days after ear reshaping (otoplasty). It is important to prevent any trauma to the ear after ear reshaping (otoplasty). After ear reshaping (otoplasty) some surgeons place a head dressing to help protect the ears in the first few days after surgery. The healing process is well on the way three weeks after ear reshaping (otoplasty).

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What is the process for getting a ear reshaping (otoplasty)?

The first step in getting an ear reshaping (otoplasty) procedure is to get a consultation with a Plastic surgeon formally trained to perform this procedure. At the consultation, the specific concerns of the patients are discussed, and the options are discussed. Printed material about ear reshaping (otoplasty) is reviewed, and any questions are answered. Before the ear reshaping (otoplasty) procedure, there is a pre-operative appointment to finalize the plan. Surgery can usually be scheduled a few weeks after the initial appointment for ear reshaping (otoplasty).