Ear surgery or otoplasty, can improve the position, proportion and shape of the ear. It can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth or it can treat misshapen ears caused by injury. Ear surgery creates a natural shape, while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have profound benefits to appearance and self-esteem. Patients who undergo this surgery are mostly children between 4 to 14 years old. By the age of four the ears are almost fully grown, so the earlier the surgery is done, the less teasing and shame the child will have to endure. Teenagers and mature adults may also undergo this procedure. There are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient.

The Procedure

Ear Surgery is carried out on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. Dr. Alonzo will make a small incision in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage, then he will sculpt the cartilage and bend it back toward the head. Removable or Non-removable stitches may be used to help maintain the new shape. In some cases, he will remove a larger piece of cartilage to provide a more natural-looking fold when the surgery is complete. It usually takes 2 to 3 hours to complete the operation, although complicated procedures may require longer. The patient’s head will be wrapped in a bulky bandage immediately following surgery to promote the best molding and healing. He or she can go home within a few hours after surgery.

Post Surgery Recovery

After the surgery, expect temporary throbbing, aching, redness, numbness, and swelling. Dr. Alonzo will prescribe medications for the pain and antibiotics to prevent infection. Swelling and redness will subside gradually within the next few days or weeks. Within a few days, the bandages will be replaced by a lighter head dressing similar to a headband. Dr. Alonzo will give you specific instructions on how to wear it especially at night. Stitches are usually removed in about a week. You can go back to work or school after 5 to 7 days after surgery. It is advisable though not to engage in any activities in which the ear might be bent for a month. Children must be careful about playground activities.