Otoplasty improves the shape, position and/or proportion of your ears; it can also repair injured ears, or ears with genetic deformities. Known to some as ear pinning, the procedure is purely cosmetic and cannot treat any degree of hearing loss. If you or your child need ear surgery, trust the respected plastic surgery team at Tayani Institute. We treat otoplasty patients in Mission Viejo, San Clemente, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Big Bear, Arrowhead and the surrounding areas.
You may be a suitable candidate for otoplasty if you have large, protruding or abnormally shaped ears. You should be in good health and free of any chronic medical conditions — like high blood pressure, thyroid disease or diabetes — which could put you at risk during or after surgery.
It’s not uncommon for children with large or protruding ears to undergo otoplasty before they start school; this can prevent them from being teased by their peers about the size or shape of their ears. Ear surgery is generally performed when the child is about five years old; it’s important for their ear cartilage to have sufficiently developed and stabilized enough to be corrected. Also, young otoplasty candidates should be able to follow instructions and communicate with us about the surgery. If your child fits this description, we invite you to schedule a consultation for the two of you to meet with our San Clemente plastic surgeon and go over the surgery.
The Otoplasty Procedure
Otoplasty is an outpatient procedure that takes several hours. Anesthesia is used so that you will be comfortable throughout surgery. Our plastic surgeon begins by making an incision behind the ear in the natural folds; additional incisions may be made on the front of your ear. Our plastic surgeon then reshapes the underlying tissue (cartilage) to either reduce the size of your ears or bring them closer to your head. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures and a gauze dressing or bandage is placed around your ears.
At first, your ears will feel sore and swollen; if you experience any pain, our plastic surgeon can prescribe a pain medication. We will ask you to keep your bandages in place to help the ears heal into their new position. It’s critical that you keep your head elevated as much as possible for a few days, and avoid any bending, lifting or straining. It may be helpful to wear a ski band at night to prevent your ears from bending while you sleep. Our plastic surgery team will follow up during your recovery and advise when it is safe to return to work, school and your normal routine.
If your child undergoes otoplasty, we will give you a step-by-step explanation of what to expect after surgery, and instruct you how to care for your child during his or her recovery.