Protruding ears can be a congenital deformity that runs in families. However, they can also occur for no apparent reason. Having protruding ears does not however affect a person’s hearing, but it can have severe emotional effects on a child. Otoplasty can be considered if ears stick out from the head, or ear or ears are disproportionate due to an injury or birth defect.
Otoplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed to reshape the outer ear, to either correct deformities or reconstructing a deformed ear or to give the auricle a more natural and anatomic appearance. Otoplasty can be used to change the shape, position or size of the ears.
Otoplasty can be performed at any age but usually after the ears have reached their full size. Otoplasty can be done generally after 5 years of age through adulthood. However, in some rare cases, the surgery can be done as early as age 3.
Why is Otoplasty done?
Otoplasty can be done to improve the appearance of the ear or ears, in the following conditions:
- When ear or ears stick out too far from the head
- When ears are large and not in proportion to the head
Otoplasty is usually done on both ears to optimize proportion.
How is Otoplasty done?
Otoplasty can be carried out by plastic surgeons, ENT surgeons and sometimes by pediatric surgeons. In adults, the surgery is performed under intravenous sedation and local anesthesia, and in children, it is done under general anesthesia.
The procedure takes about one to two hours. An incision or cut is made behind the ear. The scar is behind the ear and fades over time.
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