Prominent ear correction (better known as otoplasty) is a surgical procedure performed to reshape the ears. The goal of otoplasty surgery is to improve the appearance of your ears by changing their size, position and/or proportion. Otoplasty has been around for decades. It is the most common form of cosmetic surgery performed on children in the United States, with more than 300,000 surgeries being performed annually. Otoplasty can reshape your ears and make them stand out less or appear more prominent—all while retaining their natural appearance.
In fact, otoplasty isn't even limited to purely cosmetic reasons; it can address hearing issues as well—for example by correcting congenital deformities such as prominent ears and aural atresia. In short: if you've ever found yourself wishing you could change how your ears look or function, now's the time!
Why Do People Get Otoplasty?
If you have concerns about the shape or size of your ears, otoplasty may be right for you. The procedure aims to:
Improve self-confidence by making you feel more comfortable with your appearance
Improve your ability to hear by reducing obstructions in front of the ear canal and improving airflow behind it
What Happens During an Otoplasty Procedure?
During an otoplasty procedure, the doctor:
Makes an incision behind the ear and removes some of the tissue from under the area where the ears sit.
Then, he or she reshapes and sutures (stitches) torn cartilage together.
Next, excess skin is removed from both sides of your ears to make them smaller and more symmetrical.
Finally, your ears are repositioned in their new shape so they’re closer to even with each other on your head. The doctor closes your incision with stitches that dissolve or heal themselves over time (depending on what type of stitches are used).
What Can I Expect After Otoplasty Surgery?
You can expect to experience some pain, swelling, and bruising following otoplasty surgery. Pain will generally be mild to moderate with a prescription for pain medication provided by your doctor. Swelling is also expected and may last up to one month, although most swelling subsides within the first week after surgery. Bruising is common and looks like discoloration on the skin; it should fade quickly as you heal from your procedure at home.
Are There Any Risks?
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with otoplasty.
Common risks of otoplasty include:
Swelling, bruising and pain around the ears
Infection or bleeding at the incision site (excessive bleeding can be treated by placing some pressure on it)
Infection in the middle ear that may result in a temporary loss of hearing (this will resolve itself naturally)