As the result of hereditary or developmental conditions, the ear often grows abnormally, protrudes or assumes an excessively prominent shape. Prominent ears, called a lop ear deformity in medical terms, can cause many psychological problems and a substantial loss of self-esteem. Fortunately, this physical condition is easily corrected by reconstructive surgery. Otoplasty is the name of the surgical procedure that corrects the appearance of prominent ears by sculpting them and bringing them closer to the head.
While otoplasty can be performed at any age, children are the most likely candidates because the earlier the procedure is done, the greater opportunity there is for long lasting results. The procedure is often recommended any time after the age of four or five years. Many parents are unaware of the severe psychological trauma that may result from teasing by other children. Harassment commonly includes such cruel nicknames as "Dumbo." Even if the ears are mildly distorted, the condition can lead to self-consciousness and poor adaptation to social situations early in life. In the case of severe disfigurement, much can be gained by operating on a pre-school age child in order to prevent the development of emotional problems that might result from his or her sense of being different. The cartilage in young people is more pliable than in adults and permits greater ease of shaping. Adults may also benefit physically and psychologically from otoplasty. They often choose otoplasty in conjunction with other facial procedures when they learn that the ears can not only be "pinned back", but also be reshaped, reduced in size, or made more symmetrical.
How Otoplasty is done:
Surgical correction takes one to two hours and is usually performed under a safe, light, general anesthesia administered by an M.D. Anesthesiologist. Otoplasty can also be performed under local anesthesia for adults. There are many different potential procedures in performing otoplasty. Dr. Binder has adapted a time honored procedure that addresses the specific components of lop ear deformity. The procedure begins with an incision made behind the ear to expose the ear cartilage. Portions of the ear cartilage are carved, sculptured, reshaped, or reduced depending on the particular case. Permanent sutures are placed in the cartilage to maintain the particular shape and secure the position of the ear. Extra skin is trimmed and the incision is then closed with sutures. A cotton cast and a large, soft dressing are used for several days to secure and protect the ears in their new position. Post surgical discomfort is minimal and skin sutures are removed in a week. The result of the incision is a thin, inconsequential scar that is hidden in a natural crease behind the ear.
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120 S. Spalding Drive, Suite 340
Beverly Hills, California 90212