Ear Surgery (otoplasty)
Rucker MD Plastic Surgery Clinic
Otoplasty is a desirable way to improve the contour of the ear. Most patients present with a complaint of protruding of the ears from the side of the head. Approximately 80% of the patients seeking otoplasty are between the ages of 5 and 10.
Recommended Treatment For:
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. For the most part, the operation is done on children between the ages of 4 and 14. Ears are almost fully grown by age 4, and the earlier the surgery, the less teasing and ridicule the child will have to endure. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient.
If your child is young, we may recommend general anesthesia, so the child will sleep through the operation. For older children or adults, we may prefer to use local anesthesia, combined with a sedative, so you or your child will be awake but relaxed.
Ear surgery usually takes about two to three hours, although complicated procedures may take longer. The technique will depend on the problem.
The procedure is done as an outpatient in our office operative suite with a local I.V. sedation anesthetic. All incisions are placed behind the ear.
Upon discharge the head will be wrapped in a dressing which is generally removed on the third to fourth post operative day. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medications and sutures are absorbable. Swelling and bruising is gone between 7 to 10 days. Otoplasty is considered cosmetic and therefore not covered by insurance.
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