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Otoplasty, or ear reshaping, is performed to “pin back” ears that protrude or reshape, reduce in size, or make the ears more symmetrical. At the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, our physicians may recommend otoplasty in conjunction with other procedures to improve one’s general appearance and bring balance to the entire face.
Individuals who had an otoplasty, or ear reshaping, have told me that they felt more confident afterwards.
- Dr. Kofi Boahene
The goal of otoplasty is to surgically correct protruding or deformed ears. Otoplasty will not alter hearing ability. What is important for successful otoplasty is that the ears be in proportion to the size and shape of the face and head.
Important factors to be discussed with your surgeon include:
Adult candidates for otoplasty should understand that the firmer cartilage of fully developed ears does not provide the same molding capacity as in children. A consultation with a facial plastic surgeon can help parents decide what is best for their child, not only aesthetically, but also psychologically and physically. Timing is always an important consideration. Having the procedure at a young age is highly desirable in two respects: the cartilage is extremely pliable, thereby permitting greater ease of shaping; and secondly, the child will experience psychological benefits from the cosmetic improvement.
What you should expect:
a. The technique indicated
b. Type of anesthesia recommended
c. The surgical facility
d. Any additional surgery
e. Possible complications
f. Costs of the procedure
Typically, your surgeon will suggest a general anesthesia for young patients and a local anesthetic combined with a mild sedative for older children and adults. Under normal conditions, otoplasty requires approximately two hours.
Following is a general description of the way otoplasty is performed by our expert facial cosmetic surgeons. Remember each patient’s individual needs and features are considered before your surgery.
Note: These are general guidelines. Please ask your doctor to fully explain what your expectation should be post surgery.
Follow-up care is vital for this procedure to monitor healing. Obviously, anything unusual should be reported to your surgeon immediately. It is essential that you keep your follow-up appointments with your surgeon.
To request an appointment or to get more information about the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, please call 877-546-4530.
Illustration courtesy of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery