Prominent ears can disrupt the natural balance of the face and attract unwanted attention, including teasing and bullying. Often people who have protruding ears suffer from self-consciousness and low self-esteem. Dr. Barrett performs ear shaping surgery, technically called otoplasty to improve the appearance and position of the ears.
Otoplasty is most beneficial for children, usually between the ages of 5 and 14 years, to minimize the emotional impact caused by teasing and self-consciousness. However, adults of any age can improve their appearance and self-image as well. Teenagers and adults who have had undesirable ear piercings my also undergo otoplasty to correct the deformity and restore the ear lobe to its natural form.
During the consultation, Dr. Barrett will examine the ears and evaluate how they conform with the rest of the facial features. While choosing elective surgery can be a difficult decision for parents to make, it’s important to consider the emotional well-being of the child as he or she matures. Dr. Barrett designs the otoplasty procedure to the patient’s individual needs. It can be used to position the ears closer in, reduce their size, recreate natural folds of the cartilage and enhance the ears’ shape.
Otoplasty is typically performed in an outpatient setting. Children often require general anesthesia, while local anesthesia with or without sedation can be used for teens and adults. Dr. Barrett usually completes the surgery within 2 hours. Incisions are concealed behind the ears and along the natural contours of the ear to minimize the appearance of scars.
Otoplasty requires little downtime allowing most patients return to their regular routine quickly. Patients are required to wear protective bandages nonstop for a week during initial healing and during the following month at night or during sports. Adults can return to normal activities, including work, within 2 days in most cases.