Whether it’s their shape or how far they stick out from your head, there might be aspects of how your ears look that bothers you. With ear surgery, you can address these problem areas, damage from injuries, congenital defects and more, all while boosting your confidence.
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Consultations are complimentary.
What Is Ear Surgery?
Also known as otoplasty, ear surgery focuses on altering the appearance of the outer ear. There is no one specific technique for ear surgery; the approach is tailored to your goals. For ears that stick out, pinning is the technique used, while addressing pointy ears requires reshaping.
Ideal Candidates for Otoplasty
Anyone who wants to change the look of their outer ear could be a candidate for ear surgery. The two most important factors are that you are in good health and have realistic expectations for what surgery can accomplish. The ears are fully developed by age 6, so the lower age limit on ear surgery is quite young, and there is no upper limit. Whether your concerns are cosmetic or reconstructive, ear surgery can work for you.
How Ear Surgery Is Performed
The approach taken for your ear surgery is tailored to your needs. When operating on children, general anesthesia is preferred for their comfort. Adult patients can choose from local or general anesthesia or choose IV sedation. Most ear surgery procedures take somewhere between 1 to 2 hours to perform.
Incisions are typically small and barely visible. In some cases, splints will be worn after ear surgery to better encourage the ears to take the proper shape; this is more common with pediatric patients since their cartilage is still soft. In some cases, cartilage will need to be removed in order to achieve the desired results.
Otoplasty Recovery and Results
Ear surgery is an outpatient procedure, with most people going home within a few hours of their surgery. Recovery is pretty easy; you just need to take care not to lay or pull on your ears, so take care with how you sleep and when brushing your hair and showering. You also will need to keep your head elevated. Bandages are typically kept on the ears for 1 to 2 weeks and a special headband is worn while sleeping for up to two months. Final results can be seen once the bandages come off.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does ear surgery cost?
This varies based on numerous factors, including the age of the patient, the type of ear surgery and what anesthesia is needed. Your final cost will include the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, and facility/OR fee. It may include other costs as well, depending on the situation. To get an accurate estimate for your ear surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Swetnam or Dr. Stubbs.
Can I get my insurance to cover ear surgery?
In some cases, health insurance will pay for ear surgery. This is typically only in cases where it is considered reconstructive, restoring the outer ear after an injury or to correct a congenital defect. When the procedure is considered to be purely cosmetic, it is unlikely that insurance will cover it. Additionally, insurance companies tend to be more open to cover ear surgery in children rather than in adults who have already spent years living with their condition.
How do I find the best cosmetic ear surgeon near me?
Start by researching cosmetic ear surgeons near you and dig into the patient reviews. Sticking with the best reviewed surgeons is always a great first step. Narrow your list to about five options, then check out their websites to see their before and after photos of ear surgery patients to see if there are some that align with your goals. Schedule consultations with 2 to 3 surgeons you think will be a good fit and pick the one you feel best about working with.
What are the scars like after ear surgery?
They are typically minimal, though this varies based on the specific ear surgery you need. In most cases, incisions are made behind the ear and are very small, making them hard for others to see. However, if you need reshaping of the shell or lobe, your scars might be easier to spot.
What is the best age for ear surgery?
It’s generally best to get ear surgery after age 6, since the ears are fully developed at this point. If the ear needs reshaping, it’s best to get the surgery during childhood, when the cartilage is easier to manipulate, allowing for more conservative surgery. In some cases, surgery can be avoided entirely. However, if you are already well past childhood, you can still benefit from ear surgery.
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