The ear is a complicated cartilaginous structure designed to amplify sound and protect the ear canal. When the ear protrudes too far from the head, the ears become overly visible and are viewed in our culture as unattractive. The distance the ear should protrude from the head is well documented and understood. At consultation, the surgeon should precisely measure the ear and identify the cause of the problem. 

In general, prominent ears are caused by too much cartilage in the ear “bowl” (conchal cartilage hypertrophy), lack of bending of the ear cartilage (antihelical fold), or an increased angle between the ear and scalp. A well-done otoplasty should restore the natural relationship between the ear and the face through precise measurements. The ear should appear inconspicuous and not too close (overcorrection) or too far from the scalp (undercorrection). 

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Patient Focus 1

Procedures: Bilateral Otoplasty

 

Patient Focus 2

Procedures: Bilateral Otoplasty

Expectations

Length: 3 hours

Anesthesia: General (occasionally local with sedation for smaller procedures)

In/Outpatient: Outpatient

Side Effects: Temporary swelling, bruising, and some pain

Risks: Pain, bleeding, infection, incomplete improvement, recurrence of problem

Recovery: Back to work 1 week More strenuous activity: 2 to 3 weeks

Final Appearance: 1-2 months for swelling to completely resolve

Duration of Results: Permanent


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