Dr. John Hilinski
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Otoplasty – Ear Surgery

Otoplasty, also referred to as ear shaping or ear pinning, is a procedure to reposition and recontour prominent ears. Prominent protruding ears often look unnatural and can significantly impact one’s self-esteem. Many children from the age of three to four years begin to recognize the difference in their ears from that of their peers. However, it is not until five to ten years of age that caustic remarks begin to leave psychological scars. Adults with prominent ears may be sensitive about their appearance and exhibit a poor self-image. Many adults actually avoid certain hairstyles to keep their ears camouflaged from public view.

Otoplasty is used to reposition the ears back into a natural position and/or improve the appearance of an abnormally-shaped ear, such as lop ear or cup ear. The ears are commonly made to appear smaller and/or less prominent. There is very little discomfort and most patients can resume a fairly normal schedule within a week. With children it is best to undergo the procedure around six years of age or older. At this age, the ear has achieved at least 90% of it adult size and children seem more compliant with the treatment. More importantly, the intervention is early enough to prevent the damaging effects of remarks that often come once schooling begins.

Otoplasty is typically performed in an outpatient surgery center and usually takes two to three hours to complete. General anesthesia is commonly used for children while adults and young adults often receive local anesthesia with oral sedation. Otoplasty involves incision lines that are hidden behind the ears near the natural crease where the ear attaches to the head.

Children usually require 1-2 weeks off of school for recovery. Adults undergoing this procedure can usually return to work within a few days. Bandages are removed within five to seven days at which time they are replaced with a lighter headband worn only at night for an additional three to four weeks. The stitches are also removed within five to seven days. Any pain that patients experience after surgery is very tolerable and easily controlled with low-dose narcotic medication. Aerobic activity and reconditioning can be resumed within ten to fourteen days while more strenuous activity and resistance workouts may be resumed within three to four weeks. The benefits of this operation with minimal down time makes it a very rewarding and satisfying surgery.

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Do you have additional questions about Otoplasty? Click here to visit our frequently asked questions or visit our online Otoplasty Patient Primer. To contact our office, click here to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Hilinski’s office in San Diego, CA is conveniently located near the following:

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