Otoplasty, or ear reshaping, is a plastic surgery procedure performed at Clinic 360 in Toronto to improve the appearance of a patient’s ears. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ear reshaping is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries for children, with the majority of patients being between the ages of 4 and 14.
While many adults also elect to have otoplasty, it is especially beneficial for children as the ears are typically fully formed by 4 years of age. Children’s cartilage is also more malleable.
There is no association between risk and age, and it can prevent unnecessary ridicule from their peers growing up. As such, having the procedure done at a young age has psychological benefits.
What Can Ear Surgery Correct?
- Protruding ears (excessive ear cartilage)
- Large or otherwise deformed ear lobes
- Ear tips bending down and forward (“lop ears”)
- Small or creaseless ears (otherwise known as “shell” or “cupped” ears)
- Absence of part or entirety of ear(s) due birth defect or trauma
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About Ear Surgery
Factors that impact which otoplasty technique is chosen include:
- General anatomy of the patient’s ears
- Extent of the ear cartilage; excessive skin in the surrounding area
- Level of deformity in other areas of the ear
How is Otoplasty Performed?
Another common ear reshaping technique involves removed excess skin and folding the ear cartilage back. No cartilage is removed and non-removable stitches are used to help existing cartilage maintain its position. The incision site is closed with either removable or dissolvable stitches.
Otoplasty Risks & Complications
- Infection of the skin and cartilage
- Formation of blood clots in the ear
- Loosening of sutures
- Asymmetrical results
- Ears too close to the head
The loosening of sutures is particularly common with patients who are children due to the nature of their playtime activities. As with any cosmetic procedure, many ear reshaping complications can be avoided by being completely honest with your surgeon at Clinic 360 during your complimentary consultation. At this time, they will go over all risks in further detail with you as well. You should carefully follow your doctor’s instructions, both prior to and after your otoplasty surgery, as this will help reduce your chance of complications.
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Children are advised to stay home from school for at least a week following otoplasty in order to avoid any strenuous or boisterous activities. Their activities should be monitored for at least 3 weeks following surgery in order to avoid play that could disrupt healing. By contrast, adults and older children can generally return to normal activity within 3 days of surgery. During otoplasty recovery, patients may experience:
- Temporary discomfort and numbness
- Unusual sensations
These are normal symptoms and your surgeon at Clinic 360 will give you post-care instructions on how to best address and avoid them.