The procedure to reduce excessive ear prominence or reshape portions of the ear is called otoplasty. Excessive prominence or deformities of the ear can detract from the overall aesthetic balance of the face and severely restrict hairstyle options. Excessive prominence of the ears or other undesirable shape characteristics of the ear usually occur during ear development or occasionally with growth. Otoplasty procedures reshape deformities of the cartilage framework of the ear where deformities exist, redrape the skin over the reshaped framework, and position the ear in a more pleasing balance with the head and face. If the earlobes are excessively large, they can also be corrected during otoplasty.
The exact procedure necessary varies with the degree and location of the ear deformity. Incisions for otoplasty are placed behind the ear to minimize visibility. In specific areas, the skin is elevated and the underlying cartilage framework exposed. The cartilage is then reshaped using techniques of scoring, suturing, limited removal, or combinations of the three.
The reshaped framework is then repositioned to achieve the best balance with the opposite side and to reduce excessive projection. Any excess skin is removed and the incision behind the ear is carefully closed with stitches that dissolve and don’t have to be removed. A gentle pressure dressing is applied to your ears for two or three days.
Most patients have very little pain following an otoplasty procedure. Medication for any discomfort generally is only required for 1 or 2 days. There may be mild soreness- mostly when you bump or move your ears-for a week or two. You’ll notice some swelling in the ears for two to three weeks following surgery. Most bruising will resolve in the first week or two and exercise can be resumed in 2 weeks.