Cosmetic surgery of the ear falls under two categories:
Do your ears or your child’s ears stick out? This can very easily be repaired with a quick and simple facial plastic surgery procedure known as otoplasty.
The ear is made of a cartilage framework that is covered with skin. The cartilage framework has several folds and ridges in it that give the ear its shape. The primary anatomic landmarks of the ear are the helix, antihelix, and conchal bowl.
Ears that stick out do so because of one or both of the following reasons:
When the ears develop, the various cartilaginous precursors combine to give the ear its final shape. When any one of the steps in the development of the cartilage is disturbed, protuberant ears can result.
Otoplasty or ear pinning surgery is the only cosmetic procedure that is performed on more children than on adults. The ears are fully developed by the age of four and most parents opt to have their child’s ears surgically corrected before psychological damage from ridicule and teasing in school can occur, so otoplasty is usually performed just before the first grade.
Of course, otoplasty/ear surgery is also performed on thousands of adult patients each year. Although they tend to have come to terms with any stigma, many adults may still feel frustrated at not being able to wear their hair pulled back or in a shorter hair style. Swimming can also be embarrassing as the prominent ears protrude through the wet hair.
When discussing otoplasty for a child patient, Dr. Athré makes sure to create a non-clinical and comfortable environment. It is important for your child to feel at ease. Before and after pictures of other children are shown to the child and to the parents. Dr. Athré makes a point of including the child in the entire consultation so that they are fully aware of the procedure.
Ear surgery usually takes about two hours and is performed as an outpatient procedure with little post-operative discomfort and a quick recovery time of about a week. A protective bandage is created for the patient to wear the first few days. Children normally miss one week of school, but adults can return to work much sooner.
Otoplasty is one of the most rewarding procedures Dr. Athré performs. The real joy comes in having the patients see the dramatic results immediately. It is very gratifying to see the smiles on the faces of children and adults alike when they see their postoperative results.
Women who wear earrings can relate to the inconvenience of having a split ear lobule or lobules that are so long that earrings do not “sit” at the right location. Ear lobule repair is a common surgery at Athré Facial Aesthetics. The procedure is performed in the Houston Galleria office under local anesthesia, and usually takes less than an hour. Patients can return to work immediately. The only downside to the procedure is that patients may not be able to wear earrings for 4-6 weeks after the procedure. The good news is that patients get the opportunity to get their ears pierced again, and by a double board certified surgeon!
*Individual results may vary