Ear reshaping, otherwise known as otoplasty, is a type of plastic surgery that corrects deformed or oddly misshapen ears by addressing the outer ear. Doctors often recommend ear reshaping for different medical reasons, including injuries or ear abnormalities caused by birth defects. Some individuals want otoplasty specifically for cosmetic reasons in order to alter the shape or size of their ears.
Why People Choose Otoplasty
Although protruding ears doesn’t usually impact an individual’s hearing abilities, it can cause psychological stress and even embarrassment.
Ears are one of the first body parts to develop to adult size. Therefore, if they protrude (stick out) it can be especially noticeable in young children and potentially lead to bullying or teasing. Often, parents of children with protruding ears worry about their child’s state of mind since many children have a difficult time dealing with bullies at school about the way their ears look.
On the other hand, adults who have protruding ears typically have more practical problems to address. For instance, wearing certain headgear, such as a motorcycle helmet, can be difficult and even impossible in some cases.
Ear reshaping surgery includes remodeling the cartilage in the ear into a more desirable shape that doesn’t protrude. There are two fundamental methods for correcting a patient’s protruding ears:
- Pinnaplasty (pinning the ears) or Otoplasty: The cartilage in the ear is remodeled in order to produce missing folds and to move the ear itself closer to the patient’s head.
- Ear Splinting: This method refers to resetting the ear’s soft cartilage and utilizing a splint to make the ear remain in the new position. It’s generally used on babies less than six months old.
Both of these techniques are considered safe and make most people quite happy with the end results.
Is Otoplasty Right for You?
The objective of having an ear reshaping procedure is to surgically correct deformed or protruding ears. Also, the procedure itself won’t modify the patient’s hearing abilities. The key to successful otoplasty is for the ears to be in perfect proportion to the shape and size of the patient’s head and face.
Your doctor will discuss the following aspects with you:
- Type of skin
- Healing rates
- Ethnic background
Parents should consult with an expert facial plastic surgeon in order to determine what’s best for their child in terms of aesthetics, but also physically and psychologically as well. Otoplasty adult candidates need to realize that their fully developed ears have firmer cartilage and therefore don’t offer the same molding ability as in young children.
When it comes to otoplasty, timing is an important aspect to consider. Having it done at a younger age is a good idea for two reasons:
- Ear cartilage is very pliable, which makes it easier to reshape the ear.
- A child will be better off psychologically the sooner the procedure is done
At Nuance Cosmetic Surgery in Folsom, we will work with you or your child to determine if ear reshaping is beneficial. Doctor Sumida can assess the patient’s concerns and condition and recommend the safest and most effective treatments to ensure the best possible results. Contact Nuance Cosmetic Surgery today to schedule your consultation.