You probably remember the kid in grade school with big ears – the one always getting teased. Large, protruding ears are the bane of childhood. As we grow older, they can make us feel self-conscious about our appearance.
Perhaps, prominent ears run in your family. Approximately 25% of children by parents with prominent ears will also develop prominent ears, and the same teasing you may have suffered as a child may be part of your child’s early years.
Otoplasty, or corrective surgery for prominent ears, can be done any age after five years. By age five, the ear cartilage has grown to nearly adult size and is resilient enough to support corrective surgery. Dr. Shah uses special suture techniques to reshape the ear cartilages into a natural shape. These techniques are well established and time-proven.
Otoplasty can give you, or your child, gratifying, permanent results quickly and effectively.
In adults, the surgery can be performed under local or general anesthesia. It is recommended that children be completely asleep for the surgery, since it lasts approximately two hours. The surgery is performed through an incision behind the ear so there is no visible scar.
After the surgery, a large protective dressing is applied for three days. Afterwards, a headband is worn by children day and night for two weeks, followed by headband use at night only for an additional four weeks. The headband helps to protect the ears from abrupt changes in position during the critical early healing period.
Adults may choose to wear the headband at night only from the start. Full activity can be resumed in two weeks, and contact sports are safe after six weeks. At first, the ears feel numb and look flat against the side of the head. Mild bruising is usual, but this subsides within two weeks. As with other plastic surgery of the face, there is a remarkable absence of pain. Everything feels back to normal within four to six weeks.