Although they may not be considered the most prominent facial feature, the appearance of the ears is a more sensitive subject than many people realize. After decades of performing cosmetic plastic surgery, I have learned that dissatisfaction with the size or shape of the ears is a stigma that dates back to childhood for many of my patients. The childhood embarrassment of large, uneven, misshapen, or protruding ears can often stretch into a patient’s adult life. This is why I offer cosmetic ear surgery for patients interested in altering the appearance of their ears.
Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is meant to improve the shape, position or proportion of a patient’s ear. Ear surgery can help correct the appearance of ears affected by defects in the ear structure at birth or those damaged by injury. By re-positioning or correcting the ears, ear surgery can bring balance and proportion to the entire face. It is gratifying to see the profound boost to a patient’s self-esteem and confidence after even a minor aesthetic correction to the ears.
To help patients gain a better understanding of what can be accomplished through cosmetic ear surgery, I have provided four essential facts about the procedure.
Fact #1: Ear Surgery Isn’t Just for Adults
Unlike the vast majority of plastic surgery procedures, ear surgery can be performed on children starting around age five. Since most ears reach their full size and shape at an early age, the effects of ear surgery will not be altered or reversed due to continued growth and development. In fact, many plastic surgeons recommend undergoing the procedure while young since a child’s cartilage is more flexible.
Fact #2: Ear Surgery Isn’t Just for Protruding Ears
Although ear surgery is commonly associated with protruding ears that stick out from the head, I can also surgically reshape the contours of the ear, resize them, fix large and damaged earlobes, and address conditions caused by injuries like “cauliflower ear” if needed.
Fact #3: Ear Surgery Leaves Extremely Minimal Visible Scarring
Scarring is always a concern for patients undergoing plastic surgery. Thankfully, due to the natural folds of the ear and the small incisions required for ear surgery, scarring is often very minimal. The scars that do exist are often found in areas with very limited visibility like the back of the ear. For patients who require incisions in the front of the ear, I make every effort to make them as discreet as possible to limit visible scarring.
Fact #4: Post-Ear Surgery Complications are Very Rare
Although some degree of pain or discomfort is common immediately following ear surgery, these effects are typically short-lived and can be tampered with a prescription pain medicine. As long as the patient closely follows post-surgery care instructions, including keeping their ears bandaged for the necessary amount of time, complications from ear surgery are rare.
Much like any other plastic surgery procedure, the first step towards determining if ear surgery is the right choice for you is consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. During your consultation, we will discuss your goals and expectations, as well as your medical history, to help find the best procedure option for your unique aesthetic needs. For more information or to schedule a plastic surgery consultation, please contact me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott, today. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery news, photos, and updates.