When the ears are in proportion with the face, they’re often subtle and flattering. If they’re overly large, however, it can feel like they draw attention. In children and adults alike, large and disproportional ears can be a point of low self-esteem and being made fun of. Sometimes, overly large ears can be the result of macrotia, a condition sometimes present at birth, or even injury. In many cases, ear surgery can be corrected with surgery by a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Otoplasty is sometimes called ear pinning or ear surgery, and its aim is to reduce the size and projection of the ears. Unlike many other plastic surgery procedures, otoplasty is often performed on children and can be extremely beneficial. It involves the use of small incisions to reduce cartilage and bring the ears further back toward the head.
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Patients who benefit most from otoplasty are those who experience low self-esteem or embarrassment from their ears because of their projection or size. It’s important that you be in good overall health and able to undergo surgery. If you’re considering ear surgery on behalf of your child, it’s important that they be old enough to understand the implications of surgery and able to voice any concerns. It’s also important that they be old enough that their ears are no longer changing or developing. During a consultation, Dr. DiFrancesco will make sure you and your child understand the surgical plan and can make an informed decision about your ear surgery options.
Ear surgery can often be performed in our Atlanta office with local anesthesia, depending on the extent of your unique procedure. Incisions are often made behind the ear and within the natural folds so that any scarring will not be noticeable. After the incision is made, cartilage can be reduced, and the ear can be manipulated into a more ‘pinned back’ position. Then, the incisions are closed with special dissolvable sutures and you can return home.
Otoplasty comes with only a couple days of downtime, after which you can return to work or school. The bandages will be removed within a few days, and you’ll need to carefully follow Dr. DiFrancesco’s aftercare steps to make sure your incisions are not stressed or bothered. You should keep your activity level light for the first few weeks as your sutures dissolve. You may experience some minor discomfort, but this can be managed with prescribed medications. Most patients enjoy long-term results with ear surgery, although the ears can continue changing over the course of a lifetime.
Ear surgery can be an effective option if your ears bother you. The best way to get started on discussing your otoplasty options with Dr. DiFrancesco is through a consultation at our Atlanta office. To schedule an appointment, contact us by calling or filling out our online form.