(352) 333-9600 217 NW 76th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32607

Otoplasty / Ear Re-Shaping

Children can be tough on each other. When they see something about another kid that they want to pick on, they don’t usually hesitate. Protruding ears are one of those issues.

“Satellite dish ears.” “Dumbo ears.” “Flying saucer ears.” Or insert your own phrase of choice here.

If your child has overly protruding ears, there’s no reason to make them live with the teasing. Dr. Gaines can perform a simple surgery to bring those ears closer to the head. This is known as otoplasty, and this surgery can be done on adults with protruding ears just as easily as on a child. Dr. Gaines also performs ear surgery to repair torn earlobes, to address stretched lobes, or to correct congenital issues. Call (352) 333-9600 to schedule your Otoplasty consult today!

What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty is the clinical term for ear surgery. This procedure is most common among children to correct protruding ears, but you don’t have to be a child to have your ears pinned. Also, whether an earring tore through your earlobe, or a large gauge permanently stretched your earlobe, Dr. Gaines can perform otoplasty to make the necessary repairs.

What can be fixed with otoplasty?

Ear surgery with Dr. Gaines can address several conditions. The most common goal of these procedures is to “pin” the ears closer to the head. Here are the conditions Dr. Gaines can address with this surgery at his Gainesville practice:

  • Protruding ears
  • Overly large ears
  • Misshapen ears
  • Lop ear (the top of the ear folds downward)
  • Shell ear (There is no outer border of cartilage)
  • Overly large earlobes
  • Torn or stretched earlobes
  • Earlobes with creases and wrinkles

Why would an adult have ear surgery?

Adults who don’t like their protruding ears are no different than children. They may not hear the teasing openly, but adults try to hide protruding ears under hairstyles or hats. Bringing the ears closer to the head can be a big confidence booster.

Also, adults are more prone to damaging their earlobes. Whether through wearing overly heavy earrings, or opting for large gauges, once the earlobe skin is stretched downward or through a large opening, it won’t tighten back down or close back up. Surgery is necessary to repair the damage.

The same is true from a torn earlobe when an earring catches on something.

Are there any age restrictions for otoplasty?

The only restriction for otoplasty is ear development. The ears need to be fully grown before a person can have this procedure. Believe it or not, human ears are usually finished growing at age four. This is a good time to have otoplasty with Dr. Gaines because the surgery can be completed before the child begins school, where teasing could be a problem if the ear protrusion isn’t addressed.

As for an upper age limit, there is not one. As long as the patient is healthy enough for surgery, he or she can have this surgery.

How is otoplasty performed?

For ear pinning with younger patients, Dr. Gaines usually opts for general anesthesia to alleviate nervousness. For adults, local anesthesia is sufficient in most cases.

He begins by making a small incision behind the ear in the crease where the ear meets the head. He then sculpts, shapes, or bends the cartilage into a new position to bring the ear closer to the head. If only one ear is protruding, Dr. Gaines still may adjust the other ear to achieve symmetry between the two ears. Ear pinning usually only takes around one hour.

If the patient has other ear surgery needs, such as earlobe repair, different methods will be employed. When he is repairing a torn earlobe, for instance, he will usually remove a small amount of skin to create a better incision to stitch back together. This helps the incision heal with only a very thin scar. These options will be discussed during your consultation.

What is recovery like after otoplasty?

After the surgery, Dr. Gaines will have the patient’s head wrapped in special heavily padded cotton bandages, referred to as “fluff bandages.” After a few days these will be replaced with surgical dressings that need to be worn for the remainder of the first week. At that time, stitches will be removed. Due to the blood pressure in the area, there will be some throbbing for a couple of days, but that can be managed with pain medication. Patients need to avoid sleeping on the affected ear or ears for about two weeks. Children can return to school after about one week. Adults often won’t need an entire week, although this varies by the patient.

How will I sleep after having otoplasty?

You’ll need to sleep on your back for the first week. Your ears will be bandaged, but you’ll still have a painful shock if you roll over onto your repaired ear while sleeping. Strategically placed pillows can help prevent this from happening.

Will I have visible scarring after ear surgery?

For ear pinning procedures, there is a tiny scar where the ear joins the head on both sides. But this is located behind the ear, so it is basically invisible. If Dr. Gaines is downsizing your ears, he hides the incision in natural creases to hide any scarring.

If he is repairing a torn earlobe or closing a large hole from gauges, the incision will be a vertical line where he removes the torn edges to create a smooth line for healing. This incision becomes virtually invisible within a few months.

How long will my results from otoplasty last?

These are permanent changes made by Dr. Gaines. If he has brought your ears closer to your head, they will never suddenly return to their former position. You will enjoy your new ears for the remainder of your life.

Some people wonder if otoplasty will make their ears smaller. If Dr. Gaines reshaped overly large ears, they will be physically smaller. More typical otoplasty, however, is simple ear pinning. While this procedure does not change the actual size of the ears it does make the ears appear smaller. This is because the ears are now back and in line with the side of the head. They are not noticeable in the least. When ears protrude to a prominent degree, they appear larger simply because they are so much more visible. They attract attention.

For more informaion on otoplasty in the Gainesville, Florida area, contact Gaines Plastic Surgery today.

Schedule an Otoplasty Consultation in Gainesville!

If you are interested in learning more about whether Otoplasty surgery is right for you, please call us today at (352) 333-9600 and book a personalized appointment with Dr. Greg Gaines! You can also submit the appointment request form in our contact page, and our staff will help you set up your consult. We look forward to serving you!