Cosmetic Ear Surgery
Protruding ears can be one of the most noticeable facial characteristic, particularly in early childhood. Children are the most likely candidates for ear surgery (otoplasty) but this surgery can be performed at any age after age five or six. Even slightly distorted ears can be corrected adding increased confidence.
Who Makes a Good Candidate?
Besides good health and realistic expectations, it is also important to understand the surgery. Otoplasty is successful when, after the surgery, the ears are proportional to the size and shape of the face and head. Otoplasty will not affect hearing ability.
Timing is always an important consideration. It is desirable to have the surgery at a young age for two reasons: the cartilage is extremely pliable, thereby permitting greater ease of shaping and secondly, the child may gain psychological confidence from the cosmetic improvement. However correction can be performed at any age.
Getting The Results You Want.
Dr. Kuhn will examine the structure of the ears and discuss possibilities for correcting the problems. Even if only one ear needs correction, surgery will probably be recommended on both ears to achieve a more natural and symmetrical appearance.
During your consultation, Dr. Kuhn may use digital images of your face and profile. He will utilize image altering technology to work with you to develop and understand what may be possible. It is important to note that computer imaging gives an idea of the intended result but may not represent an exact outcome.
Dr. Kuhn will explain the type of anesthesia required, surgical facility and costs. He may suggest general anesthesia for young patients and a local anesthetic combined with a mild sedative for older children and adults. Otoplasty requires approximately two hours for both children and adults.
Understanding the Procedure.
Surgery begins with an incision just behind the ear, where the ears is joined to the head. Dr. Kuhn will then remove the necessary amounts of cartilage and skin required to achieve the desired affect. If necessary, Dr. Kuhn will trim the cartilage and use permanent sutures to secure the cartilage. In some cases, he might not remove any cartilage at all, using stitches to hold the cartilage permanently in place. After sculpting the cartilage to the desired shape, Dr. Kuhn will apply sutures to anchor the ear until healing occurs.
Safe and Simple Recovery.
Bandages will remain on the ears for the first day. Most patients experience some mild discomfort. A headband sling is worn at night for three weeks after surgery to protect the ear from moving during sleep. Risks are usually minimal. A thin white scar will be behind the ear, after healing. But because the scar resides in the natural crease behind the ear, it is not visible.