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Otoplasty St. Louis

Streamline Your Look

Otoplasty refers to correction of prominent ears. This is often something that develops at a very young age due to differences in the amount and folding of the ear cartilages. Many patients with prominent ears have unfortunately been teased about their appearance, and may wear a particular hairstyle to try and camouflage their concerns.

During your consultation your surgeon will assess the ears for symmetry, areas of excess tissue and inadequate cartilage folding. Measurements and photographs will be taken for your record. Approaches for achieving your desired look will be discussed.

QUICK FACTS:

  • Length: 2 hours
  • Anesthesia: Sedation or general
  • Stay: Outpatient, same day surgery
  • Recovery: 3-7 days
  • Side Effects: Asymmetry, temporary numbness, recurrence

OTOPLASTY CAN:

  • Reduce excess cartilage in the bowl of the ear
  • Produce more natural ear folds
  • Narrow the projection of the ear from the head

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PREPARING FOR EAR CORRECTION

Smoking and all forms of nicotine should be stopped at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. This includes e-cigarrettes, patches, and gum.

Any medications and supplements which cause an increased risk of bleeding should also be stopped 2 weeks prior to any major surgery. Please see our list of medications and supplements to avoid. As always, make sure to check with your doctor before stopping any medications.

Medications to Avoid

OTOPLASTY TECHINQUE:

Our surgeons use a variety of techniques to discretely remove excess ear cartilage, and then securely fold the tissues to a more natural contour and projection. Great care is taken to provide lasting, symmetrical, and pleasing results. Incisions may be placed in the bowl of the ear, hidden behind the ear, or both. After shaping is complete, a special Vaseline gauze dressing and head wrap will be placed to prevent swelling or bleeding. This is removed in the office in 3-4 days after which time patients can wash their hair and shower regularly. Our surgeons recommend patients then wear a wide head band (ski band) to protect the ear at all times for the first 2 weeks, then at night while sleeping for 6 weeks.

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RECOVERY FROM PROMINENT EAR CORRECTION SURGERY

Patients can recover at home after surgery. Otoplasty is not overly painful, but the area will be a little sore after the initial numbing medications wear off. Results will be immediately evident. A postoperative head wrap will be removed in the office 3-4 days after surgery, at which time patients can transition to a wide elastic head band to protect the ear. Most sutures are dissolvable, but sometimes may need removal. Showering and washing the area can occur after cleared by your surgeon at the first postoperative visit. Patients will usually take antibiotics for 5 days after the surgery, and will have pain medications prescribed as needed. Other than headband requirements, patients can resume light activities after 1 week, and more strenuous activities after 2 weeks. Avoid contact sports or situations where the ear may get traumatized or tugged on for at least 8 weeks.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you Have a Question?

A: Our surgeons use their keen, artistic eye and precise measurements intraoperatively to try and make the ears as symmetric as possible. Minor differences may remain, but the overall appearance should be much improved.
A: Ear cartilage is extremely delicate, with no other tissue like it in the body. Great care must be taken especially in the first 8 weeks to prevent tugging or snagging of the ear, which can pull sutures out of the cartilage and damage the results. Although patients are fairly good protecting the ears during the day, a simple adjustment while sleeping can inadvertently fold the ear on a pillow causing harm. Patients are asked to bring whatever wide headband their fashion sense desires to the first postop visit so your surgeon can make sure everything fits comfortably.

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