Ear Pinback (Otoplasty)
Protruding ears can lead to much social angst for children and adults. The most common reason for protrusion is underdevelopment of one of the cartilage components of the ear. Re-creation of this normal structure can be easily done to give the patient natural appearing, symmetrical, and properly positioned ears. Often only one ear protrudes or demonstrates an asymmetrical defect compared to the other ear, and this can also be easily corrected.
Correction of protruding ears generally requires removal of skin on the backside of the ear coupled with sculpting of the underlying cartilage through this hidden incision. The incisions are then closed to create symmetry. Otoplasty usually takes 1-2 hrs and can be done under local anesthesia with or without sedation or general anesthesia. Together, with Dr. Blanks, the appropriate aesthetic plan will be determined.
Patients should be able to return to their normal activities within a couple days of surgery. A dressing will be placed over the ear(s) for protection and will be removed 7 days after surgery. The patient will then be instructed to wear a headband covering the ears at all times for an additional week. The headband can then be worn at night for an additional 3-4 weeks for optimal results. The sutures dissolve on their own and do not require removal. Pain is usually minimal if the patient sleeps on his/her back and avoids direct contact to the ear.