Ear Surgery In Gainesville, FL
Facial symmetry is key to helping our patients’ confidence glow outwards from within. While the ears are not technically a feature of the face, they contribute to the framing of the face. Protruding ears, ears that protrude, or ears that are otherwise misshapen can detract significantly from one’s appearance and feelings of self-esteem and confidence. Plastic and aesthetic surgeons with John W. Tyrone M.D. Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery can enhance and transform the appearance of the ears using otoplasty, also commonly referred to as ear pinning or ear plastic surgery. Using minimally invasive techniques, our surgery specialists can surgically reshape the ears for an appearance that feels more like you.
What Is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty, also known as cosmetic ear surgery or ear plastic surgery, is a procedure performed to alter the shape, positioning, or size of the ears. A defect in the structure of the ear that is present from birth (congenital) or that becomes apparent over time and with development can be corrected using otoplasty. This procedure may also be used to correct the appearance of ears misshapen from an injury. Otoplasty creates a more natural ear shape, while likewise improving balance and the proportion with the ears and other facial features. Otoplasty can treat overly large ears, generally due to a condition known as macrotia, protruding ears on one or both sides in varying degrees of severity, and the results of a previous ear surgery to better suit a patient’s aesthetic preferences. In some cases, treatment may not be necessary as some irregularities can resolve without intervention.
The outer ear typically sits at an angle of approximately 21–30 degrees to the side of the hair. In cases where the angle is greater than 30 degrees, the ears will protrude or stick out. This can occur when certain genetic features or health conditioning affect the growth of cartilage or if any injury affects the shape of the ears. These factors may affect one or both ears, though having prominent ears typically do not affect a person’s ability to hear. Prominent ears can run in families, though they often occur randomly. The earliest recommended age for patients to undergo otoplasty is between 5–6 years old when 90% of their ears’ growth cycle is complete. However, a patient may undergo treatment at any age after this. Ear molding or splinting is a non surgical otoplasty method that can be effective in cases present at birth and when the patient starts receiving treatment in their first 2–3 weeks of life.
Cosmetic ear surgery may either be performed as a standalone procedure or in combination with other facial plastic surgery, such as earlobe repair, brow lift, and scar revision, among other treatments. Ear surgery is a highly individualized procedure. Our plastic surgeons offer multiple different ear surgery types in order to best meet the aesthetic and functional needs of each of our patients. Contact us for more information about our available procedures.
Earlobe surgery is a form of reconstructive surgery used to help restore or provide a more natural appearance to the earlobes and the ear, remediating the aesthetic effects of congenital issues, large piercings, injuries to the ear cartilage (cauliflower ear surgery), natural aging, among other visible issues that patients seek to change.
Ear pinning surgery is a form of otoplasty that involves drawing the ears closer to the head through cosmetic plastic surgery techniques. This technique is typically used when patients have ears that stick out prominently from the sides of their head. Ear pinning can be performed on one or both ears to help achieve symmetry among facial features.
In some cases, patients may have small-size ears. Others may have ears that have not completely developed or have not developed to the extent that other features have. In these situations, patients may undergo otoplasty in order to increase the overall size and prominence of their ears for greater balance and symmetry among features of the face and head.
Ear Reduction Surgery
Ear reduction surgery is one form of otoplasty. An ear reduction, also commonly referred to as ear reshaping surgery, can be beneficial for patients with macrotia, or a condition in which the ears are a larger size than that of the average ear size. This procedure helps produce a more natural appearance to the ears, helping increase self-confidence and self-esteem.
Depending on the extent of the surgery, either local anesthesia or general anesthesia will be administered to the patients for their comfort during their surgical procedure. Your plastic surgeon will recommend the best choice for you. Otoplasty techniques vary based on the type of correction needed. The specific technique your plastic surgeon chooses will determine the location of the incisions as well as any resulting scars. Your plastic surgeon may make incisions on the backs of your ears or within the inner creases of your ears, producing little-to-no visible scarring following surgery. After making the appropriate incisions, your surgeon might remove excess cartilage and skin from your ears. They will then fold the cartilage into the proper position and secure it using internal stitches or sutures. Internal, non-removable sutures are used to create and secure the newly shaped cartilage into their new positioning. Additional sutures are then used to close the incisions. As with each of our procedures, techniques are individualized, taking great care to avoid creating an unnatural, pinned-back appearance to the ears. Depending on the severity of the procedure as well as whether or not any additional procedures are performed, otoplasty may take around 1–2 hours to complete, on average.
Before the procedure, our plastic surgeons will go through and provide patients with postoperative instructions to be followed throughout the recovery process. Otoplasty recovery time depends on a number of factors, including the type and severity of the surgery performed, among other factors. Following the procedure, patients will have a dressing placed over their ears, sometimes called an otoplasty recovery headband. In order to ensure proper healing, certain precautions should be taken throughout each phase of the healing process. Patients should be sure to keep these dressings clean and dry. Patients should avoid touching or scratching at their ears, choose a sleeping position where they are not resting or laying on their ears, and wear clothing that doesn’t require pulling over the head, such as button down shirts. Otoplasty swelling and discomfort immediately following the procedure are normal and can be controlled with pain medication, to be taken as directed by our plastic surgeons. Patients may experience an itchy feeling under their bandages. It is critical that bandages remain intact and are not removed for any reason, as per the provided instructions. Failure to do so may result in the loss of a portion of the correction, potentially requiring an additional procedure. It’s essential to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and to attend follow-up visits as scheduled.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of the procedure varies, depending on the exact treatment plan chosen, any additional procedures to be performed in combination with an otoplasty procedure, and the extent of the procedure, among other variables. With the ears permanently positioned closer to the head and with greater symmetry, surgical scars are hidden behind the ear or well-hidden within the ear’s natural creases. In cases involving extensive ear surgery or reconstruction, final results may appear over time and in stages.Please refer to our plastic surgery costs page for an estimated ear pinning surgery cost. For additional information, please contact John W. Tyrone M.D. Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation with our plastic surgeons.
Otoplasty is a highly individualized procedure. If a patient decides to undergo otoplasty, it should be a decision made by them and for their benefit alone. Good candidates for cosmetic ear surgery include patients who are physically healthy, don’t smoke, have fully developed facial/ear features, and have a positive mindset and realistic goals in mind for the improvement of their appearance. Certain medical conditions might exclude patients from this procedure. During the initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss any medical conditions that might prohibit you from undergoing an otoplasty procedure. The most effective way to determine candidacy for otoplasty is through a consultation with our plastic surgeons.
Prior to the procedure, patients attend an initial consultation, during which they discuss a number of different details with their plastic surgeon, such as their expectations for plastic surgery, any previous surgeries, their medical history, and which alternative or additional procedures may best benefit their aesthetic and cosmetic goals. A physical exam of the ears as well as an assessment of their placement, size, shape, and symmetry will also be conducted during the consultation. If the patient is deemed a candidate for this procedure, they will be instructed about which otoplasty preparation protocols to follow. Depending on the extent of the procedure, either local or general anesthesia may be used during the procedure. With general anesthesia, patients should arrange to have a friend or family member drive them home following their surgery as they will be unable to drive due. For the first few days after receiving general anesthesia, patients may experience memory lapses, slowed reaction times, and impaired judgement. As such, it’s likewise important to arrange for a loved one or friend to stay with the patient for multiple days following surgery and to help them complete personal care tasks as they recover from the procedure.
Ear surgery performed to increase or decrease ear size or to change the shape, positioning, or overall appearance of the ears offers near-immediate results, which are visible once the dressings that support the new shape of the ears are removed following the initial phases of healing. Any incisions made during the procedure are either hidden behind the ear or well disguised within the natural creases of the ear, rendering them virtually invisible to the naked eye. The results of more extensive ear surgery as well as ear reconstruction procedures may appear in stages with final and permanent results appearing over time.
Yes. The vast majority of surgical ear procedures are safe and effective. There are few risks associated with ear surgery, but with any surgical procedure, there is a potential for complications. It is important to be in regular contact with your plastic surgeon following your procedure to ensure you are on the right path to recovery and optimal results. Some of the potential complications of cosmetic ear surgery may include an adverse reaction to anesthesia, hematoma or seroma, infection, bleeding, changes in sensation, scarring, allergic reactions, damage to underlying structures, a change in the sensitivity of the skin on or around the ears, and asymmetry in the positioning of the ears due to postoperative issues that may occur during the recovery process. If you notice any of these issues, or if you experience any other problems, contact our office right away to speak with your plastic surgeon for further instructions. Patients can help minimize the majority of risks by adhering to the advice and instructions of our board-certified plastic surgeons, both before and after their ear surgery.