What is ear surgery?

Ideally, ears don’t call attention to themselves, but when they do, it can be hard to look in the mirror without being bothered. Ears that protrude, are misshapen, asymmetrical, or deformed either due to genetics or injury can be corrected with a minimally invasive ear surgery called an otoplasty.

Otoplasty explained

An otoplasty is a surgical procedure appropriate for ages 5 and up. During an otoplasty, Dr. Miller makes a small incision either behind or in front of the ear. Then he reshapes the cartilage and repositions the ear in accordance with the patient’s aesthetic goals. Finally, sutures are used to close the incisions. Most otoplasties can occur with just local anesthesia, though in some cases with young patients, general anesthesia is recommended. Otoplasties have no impact on hearing.

Ear pinning 

Do your ears stick out? Ear pinning is a procedure that secures the ears closer to the head, making them appear more streamlined with the rest of the head and face. Even if one ear seems more asymmetrical, both ears are repositioned to ensure as much balance as possible. In some cases, permanent sutures help secure the new position of the ear, and in others cartilage needs to be resculpted before suturing occurs.

Earlobe Repair

Lobe stretching caused by long-term use of ear gauges and heavy earrings, and tears caused by accidents are the primary reasons people seek earlobe corrections. Earlobe surgery is a commonly requested procedure that takes very little time. Earlobe repair is typically done under local anesthesia, and patients can return to normal activity right after, or the next day if they prefer.

Before & After Ear Surgery

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Otoplasty - what to expect?

The first step to any procedure with Dr. Miller is an in-depth consultation where you can explain your goals and share any insecurities or concerns you have in a safe, non-judgemental environment. Next, Dr. Miller determines the best course of action for your specific needs. Surgery details vary based on the scope of correction needed. Afterward, Dr. Miller will share aftercare guidelines that are tailored to you.

Recovery after ear surgery

Patients typically require one to two weeks to recover from their procedure, though many can return to desk jobs and light social activity after 7-10 days. Right after the surgery there will be discomfort, but this can be managed with appropriate pain relievers. Bruising and swelling are normal, but will subside in 2-3 weeks.

For some patients, a headband is necessary to keep the ears in place as they heal. Dr. Miller will create a detailed aftercare plan with a customized healing timeline and review it thoroughly with each patient. He will also schedule follow-up visits to ensure that recovery is going well. Small children will require additional care, which Dr. Miller will discuss with their parents.

Otoplasty results 

After about three weeks of recovery, you’ll be able to see the final shape and positioning of your ears. They will be streamlined and attractive, and will blend in well with the rest of your appearance. Results are permanent, and so is the increased confidence patients have when they can move through the world happy with their looks.

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Is an otoplasty for you?

Self-esteem is closely tied to physical appearance, and this is especially true for kids and adolescents. Some may be fortunate enough to be able to hide their ears with their hair, but for those with short hair, this is not an option. If you feel self-conscious about the way your ears are shaped or how far they stick out from your head, an otoplasty could be for you. Below are some common reasons people seek ear surgery:

  • Repositioning of the ears
  • Resculpt ears into a more conventional shape
  • Correct birth defects
  • Restore ear to pre-injury appearance
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Dr. Miller has the right experience

Dr. Miller has specialized in facial cosmetic surgery for his entire decades-long career. He is double board certified in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery. In addition to his excellent credentials, Dr. Miller is well known for his terrific bedside manner. Patients see him as an approachable expert they can trust. Contact our offices today to schedule your free consultation!

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