Dr. Carlos Chacon, a plastic surgery specialist in San Diego, answers the most frequently asked questions about ear surgery, or otoplasty, in this post. If you do not see your particular question mentioned here, please feel free to reach out to our practice today.
What does otoplasty accomplish?
Otoplasty is performed for a number of reasons:
- To reshape abnormally shaped ears – e.g., lop ear, in which the top of the ear folds down, and shell ear, where certain normal features of the ear like the outer rim and natural folds are missing
- To reduce ears that are too large or prominent in relation to the head
- To reposition ears that protrude too far from the head
Earlobe surgery can be performed for patients with oversized earlobes or earlobes that have been stretched out with heavy jewelry, plugs or gauges.
Can otoplasty be performed on children?
Yes, otoplasty can be performed on children as young as four years old to prevent them from feeling self-conscious and protect them from the damaging effects of teasing from peers.
Does otoplasty hurt?
Otoplasty is performed with anesthesia and patients do not feel anything during the operation. Any post-operative discomfort can be alleviated with pain medication as prescribed by Dr. Chacon.
How long does otoplasty take?
Depending on what needs to be corrected, surgery can take anywhere from one to two hours.
Is a hospital stay required after otoplasty?
Otoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis and does not require a hospital stay. Patients are monitored for a short period of time after surgery and then released to go home.
What is the recovery like after otoplasty?
Most adult patients take about a week or less off from work after otoplasty; children may take one to two weeks off from school. Any discomfort can be managed with prescription pain medication.
Patients are encouraged to wear a compressive dressing around the ears to help the healing tissues. After the dressing is removed, a headband-like dressing should be worn during sleep for about two weeks. Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for three weeks and contact sports should be avoided for three months.
Does otoplasty leave scarring?
Otoplasty incisions are usually hidden within the natural folds of the scalp and ears. Once the incision lines heal, scarring is virtually undetectable.
How much does otoplasty cost?
The cost of otoplasty depends on the degree of correction that is needed and the extent of surgery. Our team would be happy to discuss otoplasty costs and give you a quote when you come in for a consultation.
Does insurance cover otoplasty?
Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of otoplasty because it is considered an elective cosmetic surgery.
Schedule an Otoplasty Consultation
For more information about how otoplasty can improve the appearance of the ears, please contact Divino Plastic Surgery today.