Otoplasty

The ears bring proportion to the head and facial features.  Besides being vital for hearing, the ears provide an important aesthetic balance to the appearance.  Unfortunately, if the ears are unusual in size or shape, they will draw unwanted attention. Both young children and adults may be teased or experience low self-esteem due to ears that may be misshapen or disproportionate to their other facial features.  At any age, however, self-esteem and confidence can be deeply impacted.  Surgical correction can dramatically improve the appearance of the ear.

Otoplasty, a procedure also referred to as Ear Pinning, is an invasive procedure designed to correct an unusual shape, size, or projection of the ears.  This reconstructive procedure can repair all aesthetic issues of the ear, whether resulting from a birth defect or injury.  Successful results can be seen on both adults and children.

The Ideal Otoplasty Candidate:

The ideal candidate for an Otoplasty procedure is someone who is unhappy with the look of their ear, is choosing this procedure for their own benefit, and has realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure.  Malformation of the ear, asymmetry, or unnatural protrusion can be properly corrected, as well as many other aesthetic issues.  The procedure can be performed for patients at any age, beginning with patients as young as five years old when the ears are between 85-90% developed.  Potential patients need to be in good health, fully understand the procedure, and hold realistic surgical expectations.

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The Otoplasty Procedure:

The Otoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, under local anesthetic at the Bryn Mawr Surgery Center.  At times, general anesthesia may be recommended, especially with young children.  The procedure will take two to three hours to complete.  To begin, Dr. Lohner will make a small incision behind the ear or along the front crease of the ear; depending on the correction required.  Though this incision, he will reshape the cartilage and reposition the ear.  Excess tissue can be removed at this point, and if needed, the earlobe will be recreated.  Finally, the incisions are sutured closed for appropriate healing.

Getting Started Towards an Otoplasty:

On your own, begin process by researching the Otoplasty procedure especially targeting the benefits and potential complications of this procedure.  Review Before/After photos to get an idea of the expected results.  Potential patients who are still interested in the Otoplasty procedure should contact Dr. Lohner’s office to schedule a consultation appointment.

The initial visit at Lohner Plastic Surgery is designed to allow the surgeon to get to know the patient’s unique needs and aesthetic goals.  At this time he will perform an evaluation of the ears and facial anatomy, review the medical history, and current medications.  He will discuss the noninvasive and invasive techniques that can be used to create the best aesthetic results you desire.  If both the patient and Dr. Lohner agree that an Otoplasty is the best procedure based on your needs, surgical plan will be created and the preliminary stages of scheduling your surgery will be completed.

How you can prepare for an upcoming Otoplasty:

Once your Otoplasty has been scheduled, it is time to prepare for the upcoming surgery.  Dr. Lohner will provide detailed pre/post-surgical directions at your consultation appointment.  Carefully read through these and contact the office if you have any questions.  To ensure you receive a safe and satisfactory healing process, remember these key points:

  • Carefully review the Otoplasty information provided by Dr. Lohner.  Feel free to call the office anytime to have the staff answer any of your questions that may arise before and after your procedure.
  • Pick up all prescriptions, such as antibiotics and pain medications, prior to the day of surgery.
  • Arrange for a ride home from the surgical center.  Even though it is an outpatient procedure, you will not be able to drive yourself.
  • Purchase needed supplies and easy to prepare meals prior to surgery.  Ice packs, reading materials, and extra pillows can provide a more comfortable recovery.
  • Never skip a follow-up appointment, no matter how good you are feeling. This will allow Dr. Lohner and his nursing staff to properly monitor your post-operative healing.

Recovery from Otoplasty:

The recovery from an Otoplasty will take from one to two weeks.  Patients can anticipate possible bruising and swelling initially; this will slowly fade over two to three weeks.  Mild pain and discomfort may be experienced, but Dr. Lohner will prescribe pain mediations to assist patients in a peaceful recovery.  A headband or headgear may be worn for the first several days.  A follow-up appointment with Dr. Lohner will be scheduled within five days after your surgery.  Patients normally feel and look well enough to return to work or school in seven to ten days. 

During recovery, patients should avoid:

  1. Strenuous exercise for four weeks.
  2. Heavy lifting for three weeks.
  3. ‘Pull-over’ clothing for two weeks.
  4. Hard or excessively chewy foods for two weeks.
  5. Contact sports for six weeks.

Potential Otoplasty Complications:

The Otoplasty is widely considered a safe and effective procedure.  As it is an invasive operation, there is a small chance for complications.  Potential complication of an Otoplasty can include infection, bleeding, delayed wound healing, scarring, and asymmetry.  By choosing a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, like Dr. Lohner, your risks will be minimized and you will be pleased with your results.

Otoplasty FAQ:

How long will an Otoplasty procedure take to perform?

Dr. Lohner’s Otoplasty will take between one and two hours to complete.

When can I return to work after my Otoplasty?

Patients normally feel well enough to return to work seven to ten days after their Otoplasty.

What are the risks associated with Otoplasty?

Complications that can occur after Otoplasty include scarring, hematoma, bleeding, and asymmetry.

Will my Otoplasty result in scarring?

Very small scars may occur after an Otoplasty.  Dr. Lohner takes care to place the incisions within the natural contours of the ear and hairline, to help conceal any scarring.

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