Otoplasty (Ear Reconstruction)
Correct or adjust the placement of outwardly extended, protruding, or deformed ears in both children and adults with Otoplasty or Ear Reconstruction/Reshaping.
Many of us take the placement and aesthetic of our ears for granted. But, for those with exaggerated or protruding ears due to birth defect, deformities or injury, the appearance of our ears can have a crippling affect on self-esteem and confidence. Otoplasty, or ear reconstruction/reshaping, is a procedure performed at our Eagan and Woodbury clinics that can can correct aesthetic issues regarding the ears and have a positive impact on patient’s quality of life.
Our otoplasty services encompass a wide range of ear plastic surgeries designed to adjust or correct the appearance of the external part of the ear. The ear is primarily composed of cartilage; a firm but flexible type of tissue that allows the ear to maintain its shape but still bend. This external structure, called the pinna, is meant to help amplify what we hear by focusing sound to our eardrum. Although it has no appreciable effect on hearing, the otoplasty procedure can adjust a variety of problems that affect its appearance, such as asymmetry between the ears, oversized ears, outwardly protruding ears, and even atypical lobe shape.
The most common ear plastic surgery our surgeons perform is an Otoplasty, or “ear pinning.” In many patients, the pinna (external part of the ear) is outwardly extended in an exaggerated manner, creating a “Dumbo” or “Mickey Mouse” effect. Otoplasty is a common procedure in which the ears are modified to hug the side of the head more closely, making them less pronounced.
Other common reasons for otoplasty include ear reconstruction to correct atypical shapes such as “lop ear,” when the tip seems to fold downward and forward, or “shell ear,” when the curve in the outer rim is missing. Many of our St Paul area patients also undergo otoplasty for ear reconstruction, or correction of asymmetry. While the pinna has a role in assisting us in hearing, it is important to note that otoplasty is not meant to improve hearing ability.
EAR PLASTIC SURGERY FOR PEDIATRIC PATIENTS (CHILDREN)
Otoplasty is typically performed on children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old. The young cartilage is more flexible and easier to mold in children. However, the surgery is generally not performed until the ears have fully grown, which typically occurs at 5-6 years of age. Children are often teased for abnormal appearing ears, which can create a strong, adverse psychological impact on their self-esteem. Otoplasty can correct for differences in the appearance of their ears, providing an effective option for children who are distressed by how they look. For pediatric patients, general anesthesia is recommended since the procedure can last up to three hours. The surgery is generally done on an outpatient care basis, so patients are able to go home soon after the procedure. Children can return to normal and regular activities after seven days of rest and use of a headband.
EAR PINNING OR RECONSTRUCTION FOR ADULT PATIENTS
While cartilage is more pliable in younger patients, otoplasty is also performed regularly and effectively on adults. Ear pinning or reshaping will be easier to perform the younger the patient is with sedation, however, there is no additional risk for older patients. In adults, general or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is the typical form of anesthetic used. After the procedure, you can generally return to your daily routine after seven days.
- Outwardly extended ears
- Atypical lobe shape
- Ear resizing
- Restores symmetry to ears
- Ears are less pronounced and hug the sides of head
- Lobe shape is normalized
- Restored confidence
Are you interested in learning more about Eagan & Woodbury Otoplasty (Ear Reconstruction)?
Schedule a consultation with our staff to find out if it is right for you.