Otoplasty Questions

What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty is ear surgery performed on malformed ears. While some adults choose to adjust their ear prominence, this cosmetic surgery is most often performed on children who have an ear size and/or shape that may subject them to undesirable peer abuse.

Is my child a candidate for otoplasty?

Children without fully developed ears are unable to undergo ear surgery. However, this is rarely a worry as ears fully develop around age four, allowing children to have their ear prominence adjusted prior to entering school and reducing the likelihood of them sustaining peer abuse.

If you believe your child could benefit from otoplasty, you may schedule an appointment with Dr. Daria Hamrah, at which time he will assess your child’s ears and potential solutions. Common problems fixed by ear surgery include:

  • Unaesthetic earlobes
  • Overly large and protruding ears
  • Ears that appear tiny and without creases
  • Ears with a bent tip, or “lopped ears”

What does otoplasty entail?

Ear surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and is minimally invasive. If you are concerned about anesthesia reaction with your child, your worries can be cast aside since patients typically remain conscious during the procedure.

Each otoplasty patient has unique and specific cosmetic goals. Therefore, the procedure will vary for each person. Generally, patients have one of two goals:

  • Ear cartilage adjustment
  • Excess skin removal

Does otoplasty involve a prolonged recovery?

Typically, patients can recover with a minor amount of pain medication. However, due to children’s pliable ear cartilage, physical activity should be avoided for three weeks following surgery. Any immediate physical activities may impact the successful outcome of ear surgery.

While recovering, patients may experience minimal side effects, such as:

  • Swelling around the incision
  • Temporary discomfort and numbness
  • Headaches

Why do more children have ear surgery than adults?

Children have more pliable ear cartilage than adults, allowing Dr. Hamrah greater maneuverability in achieving cosmetic goals. While adults can still have ear surgery to adjust ear prominence, the outcome may not meet pre-surgery expectations.

If you are concerned about your child’s ear prominence and live in the Washington, D.C. or northern Virginia area, please contact NOVA SurgiCare today to schedule your child’s personal consultation with Dr. Hamrah.