Otoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to enhance the appearance of the ears. Also known as ear pinning, the most common goal of otoplasty is to correct ears that protrude from the sides of the head. The straightforward, relatively quick office procedure does not involve much discomfort or downtime, but it can make a profound difference in a person’s appearance and quality of life.
Otoplasty may be performed to correct any of the following:
- Ears that stick out from the sides of the head
- Ears that are disproportionately large
- Lop ears that fold over at the top
- Asymmetrical ears that put the facial profile out of balance
Dr. Mashhadian usually performs otoplasty on an outpatient basis. He utilizes a revolutionary technique for this procedure that allows it to be done using local anesthesia with minimal discomfort and bruising after surgery. Incisions are usually placed behind the ear; incisions made in front of the ear will be placed in the natural creases of the skin to minimize visible scarring. The procedure may take around two hours to perform and patients are typically back to most of their regular activities within one week.
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BENEFITS OF OTOPLASTY
You may not think much about the size and positioning of your ears unless they are unusually large or positioned in a more prominent way. For those that have this issue, the ears can become a source of cosmetic embarrassment, leading to loss of self-confidence and self-esteem. Otoplasty can reverse the cause of the embarrassment, creating a more attractive facial profile that leads to heightened confidence and even an improvement in quality of life for some patients. Specific benefits of otoplasty include:
- Enhanced appearance and self-confidence
- Ability to wear hair any way you like
- Brings all facial features into proportion
- Permanent results from a single procedure
- Improved social experiences
In most cases, misshapen ears do not impact a person’s hearing. However, in cases where hearing has been affected, this surgery can be performed for both functional and cosmetic reasons.
*Individual Results May Vary
OTOPLASTY IN CHILDREN
Children can be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of large or protruding ears. This issue is a frequent source of teasing and bullying, which ultimately may impact a child’s social development and academic performance. Children that are bullied or teased regularly often grow up without a healthy sense of self or the confidence necessary to succeed in life.
For this reason, otoplasty is one of the only plastic surgery procedures that is often recommended for young children. In fact, the procedure is often performed on kids between the ages of four and six, to correct the issue prior to the child starting school. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery found that children that underwent otoplasty at a younger age saw increases in both happiness and self-confidence. The study also found that the surgery reduced or eliminated bullying.