An otoplasty is surgery to change the shape and look of the ears. There are several reasons someone may want to get an otoplasty, some due to issues from birth and others due to injury. While many otoplasty procedures are done on children around the time that risk of being teased at school increases. While most ears are very close to their adult size after age 5, some families choose to defer otoplasty until the individual decides to get the procedure done as an older child or adult. We’ll cover the top reasons people seek out otoplasties, and whether this procedure might be right for you.
The outer ear, or pinna, is usually positioned so that it sticks out about 2 cm from the head. Ears that stick out much further than this can be bothersome. If this is the case for you, this procedure can help pin back the ear(s) so that they’re closer to the head.
Injury to the ears can cause scarring and disfigurement. An otoplasty can correct this so that both ears look the same, and so that the injured ear(s) look as close as possible to an uninjured ear.
Too small or too large in size
Another common reason for getting an otoplasty is if the ear size is disproportionate to the rest of the head and face. Ears that appear very large (macrotia) can be reduced so that they fit better with the rest of the head. With ears that are too small (microtia), augmentation can be done which enlarges the ears.
The ear is very complex, and normally has many folds, ridges and bumps. Some people are born with congenitally abnormally shaped ears. These can cause issues ranging from cosmetic issues to interfering with hearing. Otoplasty can restructure the ears so that their appearance is very close to the appearance of the typical ear.
Is otoplasty right for me?
If your ears are a source of insecurity for you, an otoplasty can help. To be a good candidate for otoplasty, you ideally should be a non-smoker. Your doctor will also look at your medical history and do an assessment of your ear shape and size and will give you realistic expectations of what to expect. If you are a parent considering this procedure for your child, they should be at least 5 years of age.
Learn more about an otoplasty procedure here.