Otoplasty embodies the essence of plastic surgery where reshaping a body part that is out of balance and harmony can reverse years of a bruised ego and tarnished self-image or, if done at an early age, prevent years or a lifetime of poor self-esteem, all with a surgical procedure that only takes two hours. Like nose reshaping, Dr. Ptak feels strongly that the results should look as natural as possible and require few, if any, revisions. This is a procedure that separates the novice from the experienced plastic surgeon.
Who is a Candidate?
Otoplasty is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. It is also for people who have ears with an unusual or undesirable shape. For the most part, the operation is done on children between the ages of 4 and 14. Ears are almost fully grown by age 4, and the earlier the surgery, the less teasing and ridicule the child will have to endure. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient.
The procedure usually takes about 2-3 hours, although complicated procedures may take longer. The operation is done on an outpatient basis under sedation and local or general anesthesia. The ears are usually bandaged with a dressing that wraps around the head in a turban-like fashion for several days. Initial mild postoperative discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.
Some bruising and swelling may occur but the ears usually look "normal" within 10-20 days. Usually, a thin stocking cap or head band is worn at night for 3 weeks after the first dressing is removed to protect the ears. Contact sports should be avoided for about a month.
Any facial procedure that is desired or appropriate would enhance the result.