Our ears are usually pretty non-descript parts of our face. They can gain more attention with fancy earrings or multiple piercings, but for most people, their ears go through life pretty much unnoticed.
That’s not true for people with protruding or misshaped ears, though. For kids, it can mean a litany of teasing with lovely monikers such as “satellite dish ears” or “Dumbo” coming their way. Such teasing can affect a child’s self-image.
For adults, hiding protruding ears under hair or a hat can be an ongoing hassle and also a confidence sapper.
But ear surgery with Dr. Beaty can correct that and make the ears just as unnoticeable as the person wishes they were all along. It’s a simple surgery with a great boost in self-confidence.
Otoplasty is the clinical term for ear surgery. It can be used to either pin the ears closer to the head or to correct either a birth defect in the ear or a deformity that is the result of an injury. The end goal of otoplasty is to improve the balance and proportion of the ears or to bring them closer to the head.
Who would benefit from otoplasty?
Dr. Beaty has many children as patients for otoplasty procedures. As a parent, this is a great thing to do for your child if he or she has protruding or misshapen ears. And the earlier it is done, the better — this will head off any teasing at school, particularly in the challenging middle school years. For a child, age seven is the earliest the surgery can be performed. By that age, the ears are usually fully-grown.
Of course, there is no age limit for otoplasty. Adults who may have wished their parents had taken them in for the surgery can still correct their ears.
What does otoplasty involve?
Dr. Beaty makes the incision behind the ear, hiding it effectively. Then, he will usually remove some cartilage to allow the ear to naturally come closer to the head. Reshaping procedures are more involved, and will also usually involve manipulation of the cartilage.
Recovery from otoplasty is not difficult. Afterward, the patient will have a compressive head wrap for the first day after the procedure. In most cases, after the wrap is removed the patient will need to wear an elastic headband for a few weeks to help the ear stay in its new position. Patients can usually return to school or work in a few days but will have to limit strenuous physical activity and of course any contact sports for at least one month.