Otoplasty denotes the surgical and non-surgical procedures for correcting the deformities and defects of the external ear (pinna); and for reconstructing a missing ear, consequent to congenital conditions e.g. microtia (undeveloped external ear), anotia (completely absent external ear) etc. and traumatic incidences (physical injury due to accident or violence).
Other ailments where otoplasty procedure can be needed are for bringing ears that stick out too far closer to the head (ear pinning), reducing the size of very large ears, or reshaping various bends in the cartilage.
Otoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under local or regional anesthesia. In the procedure all incisions are made behind the ear so there are no visible scars after the operation.
If the ears are protruding, they may be rotated backward. If some of the natural folds of the ear are missing, they can be created from tissues taken from other parts of the ear or body. Ears that have been injured and are thickened can be thinned and sculpted. At the end of the operation, a pressure dressing is placed over the ear(s) to hold it in place while it heals.
There are a couple of factors to consider in determining the best age for your youth. First, ear development nears maturity around five or six years of age. Therefore, that age is an excellent time to have your child evaluated by a facial plastic surgeon. Another important factor is the psychological effect of peer pressure, which routinely starts around ages seven or eight.
No peeking at the ear until after the pressure dressing is removed! Doing so could increase the chance of infection or alter the final results. After the dressings are removed (with 5-7 days of the surgery) you will see an immediate difference in the ear, although some residual swelling may remain.
With proper postoperative care, Otoplasty is a very safe and satisfying operation that carries little risk. Possible complications include reaction to anesthesia, bruising, infection, blood clot, unfavorable scarring, asymmetry and cosmetic dissatisfaction. But these possible complications are easily kept away by proper medication provided by your surgeon.