Otoplasty refers to any procedure to reshape the ears. There are various techniques used to achieve this goal. An incision can be made behind the ear and sutures placed in the cartilage to reshape the ear. The cartilage can be incised or abraded to change the shape of the ear.
This procedure is used for ears that are very prominent. The ear may be larger than normal but more often only appears prominent due to loss of some cartilage folding and a deeper central part of the ear (conchal bowl). An otoplasty reshapes the ear. It can be performed in a variety of methods ranging from incisions on the back of the ear to limited incisions in the front of the ear. Cartilage can be abraded, cut or sutured to recreate natural folds. The procedure may include a suture to decrease the distance from the ear to the side of the skull. It does not commonly result in major changes to the external canal which is responsible for allowing ear plugs or hearing aids to fit and any changes to the shape of the ear are unlikely to affect how headphones are worn.
Ear reshaping is commonly performed on children around age four or five. This is a good time before classmates begin to notice the prominent ears which can lead to ridicule with the potential for psychological trauma. The procedure is also done on adults to correct similar deformities at any age.
The procedure is usually very successful in repositioning the ear cartilage into a more favorable position and improving the aesthetic appearance of the ear. After surgery post op pain is usually mild, but not uncommon
There are various techniques for the procedure of ear reshaping and it is best to discuss whether or not this procedure is right for you with the facial plastic surgeon.