Otoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure designed to permanently correct protruding ears and bring them into a more desirable angle with the face. The surgery can dramatically improve the appearance of the ears and face. It can also improve one’s self-confidence by removing the embarrassment and self-consciousness that can be associated with having large or protruding ears.
Dr. Kyle S. Choe of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a board certified facial plastic surgeon. He decided early in his training to specialize in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and neck. Dr. Choe has served the greater Hampton Roads area since 2005.
Why Choose Otoplasty?
If you’re reading this, then there’s a chance that you are unhappy with the appearance of your ears. Perhaps you feel that they protrude or that they are large or misshapen. You probably know that you have other attractive features, but all you can see when you look in the mirror is your ears.
Or perhaps you are worried about your child, who you fear will face bullying because of their ears. Other children can be cruel with their comments, and you want to do something to prevent that. You will be happy to hear that otoplasty procedures are common with children. Not only can the procedure provide cosmetic benefits, it can boost the self-esteem of the child as well.
The Otoplasty Procedure
Otoplasty can refer to a variety of techniques involving reconstruction of the ear, so each individual procedure will vary. Below, however, we will outline the details of a typical procedure.
Intravenous sedation or general anesthesia may be used. This will allow the patient to feel no pain or discomfort during the surgery.
During surgery, an incision is made behind the ear in the natural fold where the ear joins the skull. Cartilage and skin are often removed in order to achieve a more desirable look for the ears. In other cases, the cartilage may be trimmed. Then the cartilage is pinned back with permanent sutures. This secures the cartilage and ensures that the ear maintains the proper shape.
In other cases, cartilage is not removed. Instead, the surgeon will use stitches to hold the cartilage permanently in place. After the cartilage has been manipulated to the correct shape, sutures will be applied to keep the ear in place until the patient has undergone adequate healing. Then the sutures will be removed, and the ear will remain in the desired position.
Although the shape of the ear changes after otoplasty, you will not need to worry about its effects on your hearing. Your ability to hear will not be affected.
Good Candidates for Otoplasty
You might be wondering if you are a good candidate for otoplasty. Otoplasty does not require a particularly long period for recovery or great stamina for the surgery itself, so if you are generally in good health, you are likely a good candidate for otoplasty.
You might also be wondering what exactly otoplasty can fix. An otoplasty procedure might benefit you if:
- You feel that your ears protrude too much from your head
- You feel that your ears are irregularly shaped
- You feel that your ears look uneven
- You are simply dissatisfied with how your ears look
The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate for otoplasty is to schedule a consultation. Please call us at (757) 389-5850 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Choe. He will be happy to sit down with you, discuss your goals, and see if otoplasty is the right way to achieve those goals.
How Do I Prepare for Surgery?
Dr. Choe will speak with you prior to the surgery to review how you should prepare. In general though, you can expect the following:
- No eating or drinking 6 hours prior to the surgery
- No smoking in the 4 week before and 2 weeks after after surgery
- No aspirin or products containing aspirin for 14 days before the surgery
It’s also important that you feel well on the day of your procedure. If you do not feel well, Dr. Choe will decide whether or not you can proceed with the surgery.
The Recovery Process
Compared to many other plastic surgery procedures, the recovery process for otoplasty is very well tolerated.
After the procedure, soft dressings will be applied to your ears. These will remain in place for one day. Headbands are then recommended for another 7 days at night in order to help the ears stay in the desired position while they heal.
You will be able to return home on the day of your procedure. You will be prescribed medication to help with any pain. If you sleep on your side, you will have to adapt to a new sleeping position for a while. During the recovery process, it is very important that you sleep on your back with your head elevated with 2 or 3 pillows in order to protect your healing ears. You will also have to avoid wearing earrings or glasses for two weeks.
All important details about the recovery process will be discussed with you by Dr. Choe before the day of the surgery. Overall, the process of recovery is not arduous, and we think you will find that the positive surgical results far outweigh the recovery.
Possible Side Effects of Otoplasty
Otoplasty is generally considered to be a very safe procedure. However, all surgeries have some risks. Although we do not anticipate negative side effects, some negative side effects do occasionally occur and you should be informed of these while you make these important decisions.
Occasionally, a rare infection can occur or healing does not happen as quickly as desired. Sometimes a deformity that was originally meant to be fixed recurs. Other side effects are also possible. Dr. Choe can discuss these possible side effects with you.
In normal situations, a thin white scar where incisions were made will remain behind the ear, even after the healing process has run its course. This scar will not be easily visible because it lines up with the natural crease behind the ear.
Choosing A Surgeon
As with all plastic surgery procedures, it is important that your doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This ensures your doctor is knowledgeable and accredited.
It’s a great idea to look at a doctor’s before and after photos from other otoplasty procedures to ensure that the doctor has a good track record. Dr. Choe’s office can provide these for you.
It will come as no surprise to you that we believe Dr. Choe to be an excellent choice for an otoplasty procedure. Keep reading to learn how to schedule a consultation.
Your Otoplasty Consultation
You likely still have questions or concerns about the otoplasty procedure. Dr. Choe would be very happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss your options and answer any questions you might have. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call us at (757) 389-5850, or find more ways to contact us on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions about Otoplasty
How long is the otoplasty procedure?
Depending on the specific goals of the procedure, it will take anywhere from one to three hours to complete.
Will I have scars after surgery?
You will have a scar where the incision was made. However, because the incision is located behind the ear, it will not be easily visible.
More About Dr. Choe
Dr. Choe is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. In addition to otoplasty procedures, he has extensive experience with mini and traditional facelifts, eyelid lifts, chin and lip enhancement, nose surgery, and cheek enhancement. Dr. Choe also performs non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox®, Juvederm®, Restylane®, Sculptra®, and several other noninvasive options for those who wish to avoid or delay plastic surgery.
If you have additional questions about otoplasty or other procedures, we invite you to schedule a consultation with us to discuss more. You can call us at (757) 389-5850, or see more ways to contact us on this page. We look forward to hearing from you!