About Cosmetic Ear Surgery
Ears that stick outward and protrude, that look too large, or that are misshapen or uneven can have a negative impact on self-confidence, especially for children. Ear reshaping surgery (also known as otoplasty) is a cosmetic procedure that helps to redefine the size and shape of the ears to create a pleasing look. Scott Sessions, M.D. is a board-certified plastic surgeon in La Mesa, CA who has assisted countless adults and children in overcoming their self-consciousness about their ears. Regardless of the deformity, ear surgery at Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre allows an individual to show his or her face from any angle with self-assurance. If you are concerned about the appearance of your or your child's ears, contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sessions.
Ear surgery can be done on patients of all ages; however, it is most commonly performed on children 4 – 14 years old and is recommended before the child enters elementary school. A child's ears are almost fully grown by the age of four and having the surgery done early can prevent potential teasing from school mates. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient. If you are frustrated from the appearance of your ears because they stick out or are too large, otoplasty may be a good solution for you.
Cosmetic ear surgery can be performed under local or general anesthesia. The procedure typically lasts 2 – 3 hours, though complicated procedures can take longer. There are many techniques used for otoplasty. The most common technique begins with a small incision on the back of the ear. The surgeon then sculpts the cartilage and bends it back so there is less protrusion. Sutures are used to close the incision and to help the cartilage hold its new shape. Another technique involves using stitches to fold the cartilage back on itself to reshape the ear. Even if only one ear protrudes or is misshapen, both ears are typically altered during otoplasty to ensure they are balanced.
What to Expect
Immediately following surgery, the patient's head will be wrapped in a bulky bandage to promote the best molding and healing. Once it is safe to leave our recovery area, patients can rest and recover at home. The ears may throb or ache a little for a few days, but this can be relieved by pain medication. Within a few days, the bulky bandages will be replaced by a lighter head dressing similar to a headband. It is important to follow Dr. Sessions's directions for wearing this dressing, especially at night. Stitches are usually removed or will dissolve in about a week.
Any activity in which the ear might be bent should be avoided for a month or so, including sleeping lying down. Most adults can go back to work about five days after surgery. Children can go back to school after seven days or so if they're careful about playground activity.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does ear surgery cost?
Ear surgery costs will depend on what is being performed (ear shaping, pinning, earlobe repair, or a combination). Once Dr. Sessions has listened to your concerns and goals, he can create your surgical plan and estimate your costs. In order for you to focus on getting the results you need instead of on costs, Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre accepts many payment methods, and we can help you find low-interest financing.
Will the results of ear surgery last?
Usually, the ears mature faster than other parts of the face and body, which is why an otoplasty can be carried out on younger patients with long-lasting results. Dr. Sessions will evaluate your ears and then discuss realistic expectations and also how long the results should last. As the face and body change due to age and gravity, the effect on the ears will probably be minimal. If there are dramatic changes to the ears due to an injury, a second otoplasty can be performed.
How old should my child be to consider otoplasty?
Normally, children about 5 – 6 years of age are ideal candidates for otoplasty. While the ear is usually fully developed, the cartilage and tissue will still be soft, making it easy to shape. This age is also good since it is before they start school or early in their education so they can avoid teasing. Although many otoplasty patients are kids, Dr. Sessions also performs ear surgery on adults.
Do I need to have both ears done or just one?
Most difficulties, including ears that are too big or stick out, occur in both ears so both will need to be addressed. During the surgery, Dr. Sessions will shape both ears so they are as equal as possible. However, even if only one ear needs to be changed, the size and shape of both may be altered to ensure symmetry.
What about fixing stretched or torn earlobes?
The popularity of oversized earrings and ear gauges have made earlobe repair a popular surgery at Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre. If you are interested in having earlobe reconstruction, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sessions. He will examine the damage and discuss what could be done to restore your earlobes.
Reshape Your Ears
Although the ear is a relatively small organ, an abnormal shape, position, or size can make a huge difference in your appearance. Ear surgery (otoplasty) can help your child avoid teasing at school or help you feel more comfortable with your ears. Contact Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre in La Mesa, CA to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sessions. He can talk with you about cosmetic ear reshaping surgery and how it may benefit you. We look forward to helping you gain a look you can be proud of and the confidence to flaunt it.