Learn More About Otoplasty Surgery
Otoplasty, or ear surgery, is the medical term for ear surgery in which the surgeon “pins” the ears back. Most commonly, the procedure moves the position of the ears, so they do not protrude as much. However, otoplasty can also be performed to reshape or resize the ears as well. It may also be a solution to ears that have become misshapen due to injury. The surgery can be performed on both children and adults.
A small incision is made along the back of the ear. The ear cartilage is shaped, and the ear is bent toward the head. Sutures are used to help maintain the new shape. In most cases, ear surgery will leave a faint scar on the back of the ear that will fade with time. A dressing is applied at the completion of the procedure. Procedures performed in the Lakeland, Brandon, and Riverview areas tend to follow predetermined techniques which have been previously proven to create successful results.
The surgery can be performed in our office. Our operating room and recovery rooms are separate from the rest of the office, and therefore provide you with both privacy and convenience. During the surgery, Dr. Shienbaum is assisted by a certified nurse anesthetist who uses IV sedation for your anesthesia. You will be given medication in your IV that allows you to fall asleep and remember very little. There are no gasses to inhale, and you are breathing on your own. A typical procedure, by Tampa City standards, will use pre-determined amounts of anesthesia for your procedure.
For the most part, otoplasties are performed on children ages 4-14, but it is possible for adults to have the surgery also. There is no perfect age for the surgery, but it is best to wait until the child wants the surgery. Children who feel uncomfortable about the appearance of their ears are much more cooperative during the process. They are also happier with the outcome.
You will have one-on-one care from our recovery room nurse who is wonderful at her job. She will make sure you are warm and comfortable while she closely monitors your vital signs. Usually, we keep our patients about 1 1/2 hours after surgery until you have a chance to wake up from the anesthesia. Then, the nurse will help you dress and take you out to your family member or friend who is waiting to pick you up. She will explain what care you will require at home. That first night after your surgery, our recovery room nurse will call you and talk with either you or your caregiver to make sure you are doing well and do not have any questions.
Adults and children are usually up and around within a few hours of surgery. There is minimal discomfort that is easily relieved by pain medication. We encourage you to keep the bandage on for the first week on a continuous basis. For some time thereafter it is best to keep it on whenever you are at home, and when sleeping.
Otoplasty can not be performed until the cartilage is stable. The ears reach their final size very early in life. This occurs sometime between ages four and five.
Ear pinning and ear surgery are both common names for otoplasty surgery and refer to the same procedure.
Ear surgery does result in permanent scars, but these are well-hidden behind the ear and within the folds of the ear.
Most patients feel an itching sensation or mild discomfort, which can be treated with medication according to Dr. Shienbaum’s instructions. Any discomfort should quickly subside, so long as you do not put pressure on the ears or sleep on your sides while healing.