When I was a child, kids used to make fun of my friend and called him “Dopey” from the Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. They used to laugh and point at his ears and I knew it was wrong for the other kids to make fun, but I did not know how my friend felt as he never said anything about it. Yes his ears stood straight out from his head and he indeed did look a bit different from the other kids our age.
Years later I ran into him and he looked completely different. I asked him about the change and he said when he was a teenager back in the 60’s, he had his ears pinned back and later had another procedure to correct that and had some cartilage removed and now his ears look normal.
Following is a general description of the way otoplasty is performed. Remember each patient’s individual needs and features are considered before your surgery.
1. Surgery begins with an incision just behind the ear, in the natural fold where the ear is joined to the head.
2. The surgeon will then remove the necessary amounts of cartilage and skin required to achieve the right effect.
3. In some cases, the surgeon will trim the cartilage, shaping it into a more desirable form and then pin the cartilage back with permanent sutures to secure the cartilage.
4. In other instances, the surgeon will not remove any cartilage at all, using stitches to hold the cartilage permanently in place.
5. After sculpting the cartilage to the desired shape, the surgeon will apply sutures to anchor the ear until healing occurs to hold the ear in the desired position.
6. Absorbable stitches are used to close the incisions, such that no stitch removal is necessary in the postoperative period.
Ear Lobe Reduction is another type of Otoplasy Surgery and is done as an outpatient procedure with minimal downtime and fewer complications. A small amount of cartilage is removed from the lower ear, which causes the ear lobe from sticking out. The surgeon will remove a wedge of soft tissue to reduce the overall size of the ear lobe itself. There is some scarring, but the small scars will fade quickly over the next couple of months. This can be performed as part of a major Otoplasy procedure or as a separate procedure to correct just the lobe size itself.