Cosmetic ear surgery at our Houston practice, also called otoplasty, often generates questions — especially from parents who are scheduling the procedure for a child. Otoplasty is often performed on children between the ages of 4 and 14, but can also be done for adults who are self-conscious about the appearance of their ears. Below are answers to some of the most common questions about this procedure.
If you are ready to meet with Dr. Haresh Yalamanchili about otoplasty for you or your child, request a consultation at the Belage Center using the online form or call our office at
(713) 978-7878 to schedule an appointment.
What is otoplasty?
Otoplasty, commonly called ear reshaping or informally called ear pinning, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to reshape ears that are considered to be unattractive. It can be used to improve the appearance of ears that are either too large or simply protrude too much from the side of the head.
Who is a candidate for otoplasty?
Otoplasty is a good procedure for people who are unhappy with the appearance of their ears, have realistic goals for the procedure, have fully-formed ears, and are in good general health.
At what age can otoplasty be performed?
Otoplasty can be performed at any age after the ears have reached full maturity, typically age five or six. It is recommended that it be performed at an early age because the cartilage is softer and easier to reshape. It is important that you also evaluate the emotional maturity of your child to determine whether now is the right time for his or her otoplasty.
What anesthesia is used for an otoplasty?
Otoplasty can be performed either under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Local anesthesia is preferred for adults and more mature children, but younger children who cannot remain still for the duration of the procedure should use general anesthesia.
How is otoplasty performed?
Otoplasty for ears that stick out typically requires only an incision behind the ear. If reshaping of the ear lobe is desired, an incision on the lobe is necessary, and if you want to elevate or otherwise reposition the ear, you must have incisions made on the head adjacent to the ear. In all cases, incisions will be well-concealed. To move ears closer to the ear, it is only necessary to remove cartilage from the back of the ear. To reshape other structures in the ear may require additional work on other cartilage as well. Once the reshaping of cartilage is completed, the incision is closed.
What is recovery from otoplasty like?
In most cases, you need only take a few days work. There will likely be some discomfort and swelling, but these are typically less than for other types of plastic surgery and are easily controlled with medication. Children are encouraged to take a week off school so you can monitor their recovery and help ensure they do not injure their ears too soon after surgery.
You or your child are encouraged to avoid strenuous activities and especially contact sports for at least a month after surgery.
Why should I choose Dr. Yalamanchili for an otoplasty?
With any plastic surgery procedure, you should work with a board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure your doctor has adequate training and experience to perform the procedure. Dr. Yalamanchili is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon whose entire emphasis is on ensuring he can maintain your appearance while correcting your cosmetic concerns. His compassionate practice makes him an ideal surgeon for children and others who are sensitive about their appearance.
To learn more about otoplasty and whether Dr. Yalamanchili is the right surgeon for you, please contact The Belage Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Houston today.
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