For personal reasons, children and adults patients dislike the appearance of their ears. While some patients suffer from prominent or protruding ears, others suffer from deformities from trauma. Still, others just simply want to reduce the prominence of their earlobes or repair damage caused by elongation and stretching.
Who Is a Candidate?
The procedure to improve the appearance of prominent ears can be performed at an early age, generally around 6 to 10 years of age or when the patient makes the decision. In children, this ear pinning surgery can drastically improve self esteem in the affected patient. Optimally, your child has expressed insecurity about his or her ears and wants to revise their shape; cooperation goes a long way toward best results in a children’s otoplasty.
Dr. Perez performs a total approach to otoplasty with a posterior inconspicuous scar. With his technique, Dr. Perez will remove a portion of the ear cartilage and will use sutures to modify and retain the new shape of the ear. He then uses an anterior approach to weaken the forces on the anterior portion of the cartilage. This thus limits the probability of recurrence of the deformity.
This procedure is performed under general anesthesia during childhood. As an adult the patient has the option of local anesthesia and oral sedation, performed in our in office surgical suite.
Most ear pinning patients, even young children, tolerate the procedure very well. Most pain is controlled well with oral narcotic pain medication.
During the early postoperative period, the patient needs to be careful to avoid any activity with direct contact. The surgical site will be covered with a bulky surgical gauze head wrap, and patients will need to sleep with their head elevated with caution not to turn side to side while sleeping. Ear pinning patients can expect there to be swelling and bruising which will usually start to improve after 10 days and decreasing by week 4. Like any surgical cosmetic procedure, the final result will be set in 6 to 12 months.
How Long Does Ear Pinning Surgery Take to Perform?
On average, it takes about two hours for the ear pinning surgery to perform. How this surgery is performed slightly differs depending on who is receiving it. If a young child is getting ear pinning surgery, a general anesthetic is typically used unless they have an allergy to it. For adults, a local anesthetic mixed with a sedative is used for older children and adults. During your initial consultation, Dr. Perez will discuss the details of the procedure, including how it is performed, the risks, benefits, and the recovery period. His patient-centric approach ensures that you have clear understanding and feel comfortable moving forward with the procedure.
Are There Any Differences in How The Procedure is Done?
Depending on the patient, ear pinning surgery can be performed two ways. Although somewhat rare, sutures will be used, so the ear is kept closer to the head without having to remove any excess skin or cartilage. In most cases, however, an incision will be made behind the ear where it is connected to the head. From there, a bit of skin and cartilage will be removed and sutures will be inserted, so the ear can heal within its proper position.
What Are The Risks of Ear Pinning Surgery?
As with most surgical operations, there are risks you need to be aware of. The most common risks of an otoplasty include a risk of infection, bleeding and an allergic reaction to the anesthesia.
However, there are other potential risks that could occur:
- Your ears appear asymmetrical.
- There are changes in the sensation of your skin.
- Scarring behind the ears.
- Issues with the sutures such as appearing on the surface of the skin.
- There is a chance of overcorrection, which can make your ears appear pinned back.
You will receive more details about these risks upon having a consultation with Dr. Victor Perez.
Is There Any Medication or Food I Have to Avoid?
As you recover from the ear pinning surgery, you will have to avoid taking medicine such as anti-inflammatories and aspirin. For consumables, you typically need to refrain from using herbal supplements as it can increase bleeding. While we are on the subject, you also need to avoid smoking as it can decrease blood flow, which slows down the healing process.