Otoplasty, also known as ear reshaping or ear pinning, is performed to set back protruding ears and reshape the cartilage.
Many people have protruding ears and have been bothered by this from a young age. They are often teased by their peers. The ears may stick out from the head so much that a girl’s hairstyle cannot hide them or boys find sports helmets are uncomfortable to wear.
Cartilage malformation will cause the top of the ear (the antihelical fold or Y-shape) not to form. This results in the top of the ear being flat, which pushes out from the head. Usually this is accompanied by a deep concha (the bowl of the ear), which physically pushes the ear away from the skull.
Otoplasty corrects the lack of cartilage folding by placing permanent sutures from the back of the ear into the cartilage to create a fold. The deep conchal bowl is corrected by taking a strip of cartilage out and suturing the ear back onto the skull. Insurance does not provide benefits for this procedure.
Otoplasty is a day surgery procedure, and it takes about two weeks for the swelling in the ear to recede and look more normal. Patients wear a headband for two to three weeks for support and protection, and physical activities are curtailed during this time. Children can have this condition corrected, but we usually wait until they are five to six years old. At that point, the ear is approximately 85% of its adult size, and it is less likely that subsequent ear growth would affect the repair.
Call 972-981-7144 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kerner, or email us.