Otoplasty is cosmetic surgery to correct cosmetic deficiencies of the ears. Ears which are too large, or which stick out from the head can detract from a person’s appearance. Otoplasty, also called ear pinning, is surgery to correct overlarge ears or ears which stand out too far from the side of the head.
Unlike other areas of the body or face, otoplasty can be performed on children between the ages of 4 and 14. The ears are fully developed at age 4 and if a child undergoes otoplasty at an early age, he may avoid the embarrassment of being teased by his peers. Adults also make good candidates for otoplasty.
There are several different procedures for otoplasty depending on the condition which is being corrected. The average length of the surgery is between one and two hours. Otoplasty can also be employed to correct a birth defect or damage from an injury and in this instance it would be considered reconstructive surgery and may be covered by medical insurance. Patients are placed under sedation for the surgery.
Recovery from otoplasty can take up to six weeks, although most adults can resume normal activities within a few days. Children are advised to rest for a week after the surgery. Complications include adverse reaction to anesthesia and post-operative infection.
The results of the surgery are apparent as soon as the bandages are removed and the effect can be quite dramatic. The surgery can be especially beneficial to children who are self-conscious about their appearance.
To find out if you or your child is a good candidate for otoplasty, consult plastic and reconstructive surgeon in your area. Always make sure your surgeon is experienced in the procedure you are considering.