Reshape the Ears with Ear Surgery
The term otoplasty refers to procedures that reshape the ears when they protrude prominently from the head. This is generally due to a congenital condition that is present from birth. Otoplasty can correct the misshapen cartilage to help the ear lie flatter against the head for a more natural, flattering appearance.
Dr. Angelchik was certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) in 1996 and successfully completed a rigorous recertification process in 2006 and 2016. He participates in the Maintenance of Certification program through the ABPS. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He has also been named to Castle & Connolly’s Top Doctors in America every year since 1996.
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Ear surgery is a lesser-known plastic surgical procedure in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale, AZ area that can have a big impact on patients who have struggled with large and protruding ears. This surgical procedure can sometimes be referred to as ‘ear pinning’ because it uses incisions to reduce the size of the inner ear and bring it closer to the head. Otoplasty can sometimes also refer to other ear surgeries that address the earlobes, but this is not necessarily always the case.
Otoplasty is a unique procedure because it is most commonly performed on children. This is because congenital deformities and overly-large ears usually become apparent around the time that cartilage completes its development, making some children the target of ridicule for large, protruding ears. However, many adult patients also seek out otoplasty for the same reasons. When considering otoplasty surgery for your child, it’s important that they be able to effectively communicate and understand the repercussions of the surgery, as well as consent for the procedure. Their ear cartilage should be no longer developing or changing, since this can reverse results. All candidates should be in general good health and able to undergo surgery. Dr. Angelchik will ask patients to stop smoking or being exposed to smoke for at least a few months in advance of the surgery.
Otoplasty uses a few different incision options that will depend on your unique anatomy and goals. In either case, Dr. Angelchik can successfully conceal scarring within the natural creases of the ears. These incisions include:
This incision is performed at the back of the inner ear where it meets the head. This allows for Dr. Angelchik to reduce cartilage and pull the skin behind the ear together to flatten the ear further against the head.
Sometimes, an incision within the ear can be used to effectively reduce cartilage if protrusion is not a concern. This incision is usually made within the deepest folds of the ear to hide any scarring.
Dr. Angelchik performs otoplasty surgery on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. Once anesthesia is administered, a predetermined incision is made that allows for the reduction of cartilage and the ‘pinning’ process. Once the new ear shape is achieved, the incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and bandages are placed. You’ll then be fitted with a special headband that will keep the ears in place during recovery.
For the first week following surgery, you will be asked to wear a bulky, protective head dressing, then move to a headband for the next 12 weeks to control and protect the position of the ear. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed following surgery and you can expect the swelling to resolve over the next several months. Most patients require only a few days of downtime, although you may not feel comfortable returning to public within this timeframe. Your results will continue to refine over time as your ears adjust to their new position and contours. In some cases, relapse may occur and would require some revision; however, most patients have an excellent result for the long-term after surgery.