Otoplasty Granite Bay, CA
Reshape and reposition prominent ears for a confident appearance
Prominent or misshapen ears, often present at birth, can attract unwanted attention and lead to a poor self-image. Plastic surgery to improve ear contours can alleviate this concern for patients of all ages, helping adults regain confidence and children avoid bullying issues.
Facial plastic surgeon Dr. Bray can perform otoplasty, also known as ear pinning or ear surgery, to improve the shape and position of the ears, setting them closer to the head. The size of the ears may also be reduced if desired. This surgery is typically performed after the age of 5 when the ears have nearly reached full size. Cosmetic ear abnormalities resulting from injury and the appearance of aging ears can be improved with ear plastic surgery as well.
Benefits of ear surgery
Ear plastic surgery may be used to achieve one or more of the following goals:
- Increase symmetry between each ear
- Improve visual balance of facial features
- Reduce how far the ears project from the head
- Correct “lop ears” (a folded ear tip)
- Reshape offset or reduce long earlobes
- Enhance small ears or repair other cosmetic defects
- Restore ear appearance after injury
- Revise previous ear surgery
Psychological benefits of otoplasty
In addition to the cosmetic benefits of ear surgery for children, the potential psychological benefits of otoplasty are remarkable. A study published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery asked patients between the ages of 5-16 who had previously undergone otoplasty to complete a questionnaire regarding the role their otoplasty results played in their everyday life.
The results of the study found:
- 97% reported an increase in happiness
- 92% reported an increase in self-confidence
- 79% noted improved social experiences
- 100% reported bullying was reduced or stopped
What is an ear pinning procedure like?
Otoplasty procedures can be performed on patients of nearly all ages, from early childhood on into late adulthood. Whatever the patient’s age, the goal is to achieve a streamlined and symmetrical ear appearance from all angles while preserving ear functionality.
Preparing for otoplasty
Once Dr. Bray has determined whether you (or your child) would benefit from otoplasty during a personal consultation, you’ll be advised on what medications should be avoided before surgery, what the procedure will entail, and how to properly care for your healing ear incisions during the recovery process. The procedure will take place in an outpatient surgery center, which is fully accredited and equipped with the latest, most advanced technology to meet or exceed the highest standards of operating room safety.
Depending on the type of correction needed to achieve a natural, pleasing ear contour, incisions for otoplasty will be made on the back of the ear or, if they are required on the front, concealed within the ears’ natural creases.
During a standard ear pinning procedure, a vertical incision is made along the back of the ear to reduce protruding or enlarged conchal cartilage. The remaining skin and cartilage is sutured in such a way that the outer portion of the ear is pulled back towards to head to lessen the amount of projection the ears have, providing a sleeker look. Using the latest surgical techniques and procedures, Dr. Bray can additionally reshape the rim of the ear, treating the antihelical fold. To keep newly shaped skin and cartilage in place, Dr. Bray will place permanent internal sutures as needed.
Otoplasty patient recovery and results
Results will be visible almost immediately after surgery, though supportive dressings may be necessary to help maintain the ears’ new shape during the initial recovery process. The ears will likely be swollen and tender for a few weeks, but these effects are typically short-lived and well-tolerated. OTC pain medication will help minimize discomfort, and Dr. Bray can prescribe stronger pain medication if needed. Patients may also be asked to wear a special otoplasty headband at night and during vigorous activity for a period of time to encourage ideal results.
You’ll be able to get a good idea of what the final results will look like after just 2-3 weeks, and full results are visible at about the 6-week mark.
Candidates for ear surgery
Good candidates for ear surgery should be in general good health and meet certain criteria.
Children and teens may be eligible for ear surgery if they:
- Are least 5 years old (or have stable enough cartilage to operate on)
- Can follow simple instructions
- Are cooperative and communicate their feelings about the surgery
Adults may be eligible for ear surgery if they:
- Do not smoke or are willing to abstain
- Do not have a medical condition that would impact surgical safety or healing
- Have realistic expectations about their surgery
Facial plastic surgery in Granite Bay, California
Proudly serving the Granite Bay and Sacramento California areas, facial plastic surgeon Dr. Haley Bray is committed to providing compassionate, expert care to patients of all ages who seek improvement in their ear appearance. To learn if ear surgery is the right procedure for you or your child, schedule your personal consultation at Granite Bay Cosmetic Surgery by calling (916) 242-2662 or contacting our practice online.