Prominent and asymmetric ears can be a source of childhood teasing or personal dissatisfaction. Otoplasty is a surgical procedure that is used to set back the ear and improve its contour and symmetry. Dr. Stephen Weber, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon in Denver, CO, cares for pediatric and adult patients who have concerns about the size and/or shape of their ears.
Ears that are asymmetric or stick out too far can become the focal point of the face. The two most common reasons for large ears are an overly developed inner cup (conchal bowl) and an underdeveloped upper fold (superior crus). Dr. Weber addresses both issues by performing an otoplasty procedure. The results following the procedure allow the ears to fade into the background and attention to be drawn to the area around the eyes.
Otoplasty with Dr. Weber
Otoplasty is performed under local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or intravenous (IV) sedation in one of Dr. Weber’s office procedure suites or an ambulatory surgery center. The procedure may be performed on children as young as age five. The procedure begins by making the patient as comfortable as possible. A board-certified anesthesiologist administers anesthesia or IV sedation. The following steps are used to perform the procedure:
- A tiny incision is made along the back side of the ear
- Sutures are used to reshape the ear cartilage and set the prominent part of the ear closer to the head
- Cartilage is scored or selectively weakened to shape the ear
The incision is closed using dissolving sutures. Dressings are placed over the incision. An elastic compression garment is gently wrapped around the ear to hold the dressings in place and reduce swelling. Total procedure time is forty-five to sixty minutes.
Recovery from Otoplasty
Patients are allowed to go home after the effects of surgical medications and anesthesia have worn off. The elastic compression garment is worn while at home. The only time it is taken off is when showering. Total recovery time is typically between five to seven days. Patients see Dr. Weber for their first post-operative appointment during this same time frame.
Patients see their results after their surgical dressings are removed. Otoplasty is one of Dr. Weber’s favorite procedures because the results are immediate and life-changing. Following surgery, the ears are symmetric and balanced and look natural. This type of result is made possible because Dr. Weber evaluates each of his patients prior to surgery and determines the exact cause of their prominent or asymmetric ear. Precise measurements are taken so they can be compared to intraoperative results. Patients appear more attractive because attention is drawn away from their ears and toward the area around their eyes.
Good Candidates for a Otoplasty procedure
Patients as young as five are candidates for an otoplasty with Dr. Weber. The procedure is performed on patients who have overly large, protruding or asymmetric ears. Typically, the procedure is reserved for patients who are healthy, do not smoke, and have no serious medical conditions. A positive mindset and realistic expectations are also qualifications for candidacy.
Initial Consultation with Dr. Weber
An initial otoplasty consultation with Dr. Weber is very thorough. The first part of the consultation consists of a medical history review and a physical examination of the ears and face. As previously mentioned, Dr. Weber takes measurements for evaluative and comparative purposes. The second part of the consultation consists of an in-depth conversation regarding the patient’s goals, desires, and possible concerns. During the conversation, Dr. Weber covers every aspect of surgery and lets patients know exactly what type of results they can expect. A question and answer session is held following the conversation. All of Dr. Weber’s patients are able to make an educated and informed decision regarding the possibility of surgery.
Otoplasty before and after
Frequently Asked Questions about Otoplasty
What specific conditions can otoplasty be used to correct?
Dr. Weber commonly performs otoplasty to improve the following:
- Overly large ears
- Asymmetric ears
- Protruding ears that stick out
- A large conchal bowl
- A lop, cup, or shell ear
During your initial consultation, Dr. Weber will go into specific detail when explaining what he will improve during your surgery.
Are their risks associated with otoplasty?
There are risks associated with all surgical procedures. The risks specific to otoplasty will be discussed at your initial consultation with Dr. Weber. The majority of patients find that the potential benefits of otoplasty outweigh the risks.
Can my child have otoplasty?
Children as young as five years old may undergo otoplasty. Improving the appearance of the ears with otoplasty can eliminate any teasing and bullying that your child is experiencing because of their ears. Dr. Weber has performed the procedure on countless pediatric patients. At your child’s initial consultation, Dr. Weber will let you and your child know exactly what to type of results to expect after surgery.
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Can otoplasty be performed on adults?
Absolutely. Men and women who are uncomfortable with the size and/or shape of their ears commonly undergo otoplasty. Following surgery, patients feel great about their results. More attention is drawn to the area around the eyes and patients appear more attractive as a result. In most cases, adult Otoplasty can be performed in Dr. Weber’s office with local anesthesia and oral sedation.
What are some of the psychological benefits seen after otoplasty?
Patients who undergo otoplasty commonly see a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem. Other psychological benefits may also be seen. This is something that Dr. Weber will discuss with you at your initial consultation.
Will I have a scar following my procedure?
A scar forms after all surgical procedures. Because Dr. Weber uses a tiny incision and carefully places it behind the ear, the scar following an otoplasty procedure is not noticeable. Patients can wear their hair in a ponytail and their scar will go unnoticed. The same goes for patients who are bald.
When will I be able to see my results?
Results are seen as soon as postoperative swelling goes down and surgical dressings are removed. The time frame for this is usually between five to seven days. The quick results of otoplasty dramatically improve patients’ lives.
Can I get an ear infection after surgery?
Dr. Weber takes every precaution necessary to eliminate postoperative ear infections. The risk of getting an ear infection is very small. Dr. Weber will explain everything you need to know about preventing ear infections at your initial consultation.
What should I avoid after surgery?
Dr. Weber advises his patients to avoid the following immediately after their surgery:
- Activities that place direct force on the ear
- Excessive sunlight
- Tanning beds
He also advises patients to stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery as nicotine can interfere with healing processes.
Will I be able to sleep in my bed after my surgery?
You will be able to sleep comfortably in your bed after surgery. Dr. Weber will go into great detail explaining exactly how you can lay down without putting excessive force on your ears.
Will surgery affect my hearing?
No. Changing the shape of your ear will not in any way affect your hearing.
Is Dr. Weber a board certified plastic surgeon?
Dr. Weber is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Weber’s education includes the following:
- A five-year head and neck surgery residency at Oregon Health and Science University
- A fellowship in facial plastic surgery at the University of Michigan
Dr. Weber is highly regarded as one of the top facial plastic surgeons in the United States.
Can I see before-and-after pictures of some of Dr. Weber’s patients who have had an otoplasty procedure?
Of course! Dr. Weber believes before-and-after pictures are an invaluable resource for you to use when making your decision to undergo surgery. He will go into great detail when explaining photos. He will show you exactly how your results will compare to the ones seen in the photos.
Is there anything I can do to prepare for my initial consultation with Dr. Weber?
Dr. Weber asks patients to bring the following to their consultation:
- A list of all medications and herbal supplements they are currently taking
- A list of the drugs they are allergic to
- A list of medical conditions they have been diagnosed with
- A list of previous surgeries
Dr. Weber also encourages patients to contemplate the reasons why they are interested in having surgery to improve their condition.
How do I determine if I am a candidate for surgery?
As previously mentioned, otoplasty is generally reserved for patients who are healthy and have a positive mindset and realistic expectations. The definitive way to determine if you are a candidate is to attend an initial consultation with Dr. Weber.
How do I arrange my initial consultation?
You can easily arrange your initial otoplasty consultation with Dr. Weber by contacting his office in Denver, CO, at 303-792-2224 or by e-mailing his staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.