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What is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty is the surgical reshaping of the external ear. This is most commonly performed as a setback otoplasty for prominent ears but can be any surgey for altering the shape of the external ear.
At what age is otoplasty typically done?
Otoplasty is typically performed as round 5 to 6 years of age when ears are almost fully grown but before significant social distress . However, the operation can still be performed in teenage years or even into adulthood for those that desire it.
How is otoplasty done?
Otoplasty is typically performed through an incision hidden behind the ears. The cartilage is reshaped using suturing and rasping to create the desired shape. In prominent ears the primary focus is on creating a strong antihelical fold. This brings the ear to a new position closer to the head. Sometimes, additional sutures are needed in the back of the concha to help with this repositioning.
What is the recovery for Otoplasy like?
A postoperative dressing is used to help keep the ears in their new positions. This dressing will typically stay in place for 1 week. Although a general anesthetic is needed, the operation is done on an outpatient basis and your child will be able to return home the same day. Numbing medicine is used to help treat the pain immediately surgery and most children need only Tylenol and ibuprofen at home.
Once the initial dressings are taken down, the patient is asked to wear a headband over their ears for 6 weeks to help protect them during the healing process.