If you feel that your ears or your child’s ears are too prominent or asymmetrical, cosmetic surgery may be able to help. Ear surgery, or otoplasty, can set prominent ears back closer to the head, reduce their size, and make them more symmetrical.
In addition, Dr. Powers can help Westlake Village and Long Beach otoplasty patients resolve other concerns…
- “Lop ear”: the top of the ear folds down and forward.
- “Cupped,” or very protuberant, ears.
- “Shell ear”: an ear missing the normal curves, creases, and folds.
- Large earlobes, stretched earlobes, or lobes with large creases and wrinkles.
Dr. Powers typically performs otoplasty on Westlake Village and Long Beach patients between the ages of five and fourteen. At this point, children’s ears are fully grown, and families may want to address the concern early to protect them from taunting/teasing. Adults may also have otoplasty at almost any age.
During the procedure, Dr. Powers will use one of a few common techniques depending on the goals of surgery. She may:
- Make a small incision in the back of the ear to sculpt the cartilage and bend the ear back towards the head.
- Remove a larger piece of cartilage to provide a more natural-looking ear fold.
- Remove skin and place stiches to fold the cartilage, reshaping the ear.
Typically, Westlake Village and Long Beach otoplasty patients will have surgery on both ears—even when only one ear protrudes—to provide greater symmetry. Results are natural-looking and usually leave only a faint scar behind the ear.
What to Expect
If you are thinking about otoplasty for your child, Dr. Powers recommends that you talk with your child about his or her feelings. Don’t insist on the surgery until your child wants the change. Children who make this decision for themselves are generally more cooperative and satisfied with the outcome.
When you meet with Dr. Powers for an initial consultation in Westlake Village or Long Beach, she will evaluate the ears, talk about your goals with otoplasty, and determine the best technique to use to achieve your goals. She will also provide you with instructions and information to prepare for surgery.
Dr. Powers performs otoplasty on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. Surgery for both ears takes about three hours. Patients usually receive non-removable stitches to help the ears maintain their new shape while they are healing. We recommend reviewing other factors and risks and discussing any questions with the doctor..
Patients wear a wrap-around bandage right after their procedure to help the ears keep the right shape and to heal appropriately. Westlake Village and Long Beach patients may have some discomfort in their ears for a few days to weeks, but medication will help with this symptom.
After several days, Dr. Powers will replace the bandage with a lighter head dressing similar to a headband. It’s important to wear this dressing until healing is complete, including while asleep.
Patients can expect to get back to normal activities within about five to seven days of surgery but should avoid activities that could bend the ear. Parents may want to keep children home from school for a full week to make sure their activity is limited. They may also want to ask the child’s teacher to keep an eye on out-of-normal behavior for a few weeks.
To find out more about otoplasty, contact Dr. Powers for an initial consultation. Call the Long Beach office at 562-427-8866 or our Westlake Village office at 805-379-3104.