Healthy individuals seeking to improve the appearance of large, prominent, misshapen, or asymmetrical ears may want to consider otoplasty – commonly referred to as ear pinning or corrective ear surgery. The aim may be to correct a deformity or irregular-looking ears. Dr. Stein will take the time to discuss likely outcomes and potential risks during an in-person consultation.
What Causes Prominent Ears?
Most often, what people consider “big ears” are not actually significantly larger than normal, but project out from the side of the head at a greater angle. Ears are normally positioned at an angle of about 20 to 35 degrees, angles more than 35 degrees will make ears appear larger.
Protruding ears affect around 5% of the general population, but rarely affect a person’s hearing. They may occur for a number of reasons including an overdevelopment or underdevelopment of cartilage, or the result of an injury. Some deformities are self-correcting. In cases where an external deformity does not self-correct, an otoplasty or non-surgical correction may be recommended.
What Happens After Surgery?
You can expect an immediate and long-lasting improvement in the appearance of your ears once your bandages are removed. Incisions made for otoplasty often result in scars that are easily hidden behind the ears. Patients express feeling mild discomfort while sleeping; avoiding pressure on the ears is essential. Some throbbing or aching of the ears may occur during the first few days following surgery, which can be managed with medication.
Recovery time for most patients is one week or less, after which you can return to work or school. You may participate in strenuous activities and contact sports with in two-three weeks.
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Will My Ears “Spring Back” After Corrective Ear Surgery?
The short answer is yes, there is a slight chance that your ears will spring back slightly toward their original position over the years. This is a result of the stitches relaxing over time. However, it is highly unlikely that your ears will shift back to the way they were prior to your otoplasty. Fewer than 10% of patients require a subsequent revision at a later date.
Is Corrective Ear Surgery Right for Me?
Scheduling a consultation with Dr. Stein is the best way to determine if otoplasty is right for you. All details of the procedure will be explained, and any questions or concerns you may have will be addressed. As a double-board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Stein is experienced with this procedure and will review your skin characteristics, discuss your goals and expectations, and provide a custom treatment plan.
Dr. Stein is direct and sharp as a tack. His staff is incredibly kind. I will never let my friends trust anyone else and I can never express my gratitude for the experience and results. The simple freedom of getting to put my hair up without fear and embarrassment has been life changing.
The cost and recovery were both so much better than I had thought all of these years. I had the procedure done on a Thursday and was back at work on Monday.
I missed out on so many activities my whole life by being too embarrassed by my biggest insecurity. Unbelievably grateful for this new chapter.