Our Services / Correcting Deformities of the Ear With Otoplasty
What Is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty or ear surgery is used to correct misshapen or disproportioned ears caused by birth defects or injury. It can improve the proportion, size and shape of the ear and is most commonly used for the correction of protruding or too-large ears as well as for the repair of disfigured ears. While disfigurement of the ear is not a life-threatening condition, it can cause profound mental and emotional problems because of the way it affects a person’s appearance. Children are especially vulnerable because of the teasing and social ostracism that such physical anomalies can provoke from their peers.
Otoplasty can give the ear a natural shape and appropriate size to create balance in the facial features. The surgery is also suitable for adults who may have suffered from an injury or are unhappy with the appearance of their ears. In the case of children, the surgery is usually performed around the age of five or older, when the ear cartilage is more fully formed. Dr. Colin Hong, a Toronto plastic surgeon, counsels patients on the nature of the procedure that will be used, the potential risks, the expected results and the recovery process.
About Toronto Otoplasty
Toronto otoplasty can be performed as an outpatient procedure in a plastic surgeon’s surgical facility, hospital or ambulatory surgical facility using local or general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The exact nature of the surgery will vary depending on the specific problem. In the case of protruding or too-large ears, incisions are made on the back of the ear and the surgeon removes or reshapes the cartilage to give the ear the size, position and shape that is desired. Permanent sutures are put into place to secure the reshaped cartilage. Most Toronto doctors such as Dr. Hong take care to ensure the new look is natural and that surgical scars are either hidden behind the ears or covered by the normal folds and creases of the ear. Otoplasty results are immediate and may be seen as soon as bandages are removed.
In most cases, the patient is able to go home a few hours after the surgery, once the anesthesia has worn off. The surgeon prescribe medication for any pain and discomfort and will provide detailed care instructions. Bandages should not be disturbed and the patient should use extra pillows to elevate the head to minimize swelling and excess fluid collecting near the affected area. Any vigorous activity that could impact the ear must be avoided until the healing is complete. When otoplasty is performed on children, parents need to play a major role in ensuring that post-surgical precautions are followed and medication are taken.
Although ear disfigurements can cause physical issues with hearing as well as emotional anguish, otoplasty is generally considered an elective surgery.