Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

Protruding ears often cause self-consciousness and a lack of confidence in appearance that is hard to bear. In adults as well as young children, rude stares, taunting and teasing, and cruel nicknames can result in long-term and damaging psychological effects. Otoplasty, or ear reshaping surgery, is a procedure designed to reposition or set back protruding ears. Misshapen ears represent the most common congenital abnormality of the face and neck region and otoplasty is the surgery used by plastic surgeons to reduce the prominence of the auricles also known as ear pinning or ear setback. Fortunately, at Shine Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Daniel H. Lin brings his skill, experience, and training to every otoplasty he performs on children and adults. Patients travel from California and beyond to seek his services because he provides the safest and most effective plastic surgery procedures available while achieving the best possible outcome. Dr. Lin uses a variety of techniques to provide his otoplasty patients with exceptional results and ears that will complement the natural symmetry of their face.

Dr. Lin realizes that ear surgery patient’s ears are different and that is why otoplasty may refer to the correction of a number of different ear conditions that include ears that protrude excessively, ears that have abnormally shaped cartilage, earlobes that are stretched out or torn from earrings, and earlobes that droop as a result of age and gravity. During embryologic maturity (before birth), the unborn child’s ears project straight out and away from their head. By the ninth month of development, the ears normally assume a position closer to the head and develop natural folds however when development stops short of completion, the ears become prominent and lack the usual folds. Some ears appear unusual due to a large cartilage bowl and lop ears are a result of weakness in the cartilage of the upper ear lobe causing the ears to flop down instead of lying near to the head. Some patients have both a large cartilage bowl as well as weakness of the cartilage and treatment involves surgical repair of the deformed cartilage. An otoplasty can correct numerous ear problems and following surgical correction, the visual and psychological improvement is dramatic and rewarding to the patient, family, and Dr. Lin and his professional team as well.

Otoplasty is performed through skin incisions made along the back of the ears in which Dr. Lin will reposition the cartilage before holding it in place with permanent sutures. In some cases, an appropriate amount of skin behind the ears may be removed as well to compensate for the new position of the ears. With adults, otoplasty can be performed under local anesthesia although children may require hospital-based anesthesia depending upon their age. There is usually little discomfort after otoplasty surgery and swelling is minimal subsiding in 5-7 days. The decrease in the space behind your ear is a normal occurrence after repositioning and incisional scarring is not noticeable because the incisions are made behind your ears. Although most patients may return to light work or school after a week, you should protect your ears for at least two months and as with any surgery, it may take up to a year for the healing process to complete. Once the ears have healed, it will be almost impossible to distinguish them from “normal” ears.

For children, pinning the ears is a common technique used during otoplasty to achieve the desired result but adult patients may select a different approach as many wish to reshape or reduce the size of the ears to help them appear symmetrical with the contours of their face. While your ears help you hear, listen, and understand, when you have protruding, disfigured, or large ears you feel unnatural and otoplasty will bring back balance to your entire face by recreating the natural shape of your ear. At Shine Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Lin will give you compassionate and expert attention and during your consultation, he will listen to all of your concerns and answer any questions you may have. Dr. Lin looks forward to helping you escape the struggles you have endured with your ear issues so whether it is shape, placement, or size, please call Shine Cosmetic Surgery today.