Cosmetic Surgery Guide: Otoplasty

by Naruschka Henriques

Otoplasty is the practice of surgically altering the external ear by moving, reshaping or adding to the structure of the ear. It generally counts as a minor procedure, and is mostly used in the treatment of misshapen, unsymmetrical or protruding ears that have been an issue since childhood. Otoplasty is also sometimes involved in the stages of facial reconstruction surgery.
Ears are not generally the most noticeable part of the head, unless they differ from the norm. Once identified as different, the confidence and feelings of conspicuousness relating to the ears can become very inhibiting for both children and adults. The most prevalent form of otoplasty is the practice of ear pinning for unsymmetrical or protruding ears. Simply put, an excess of cartilage, or perhaps failure of the cartilage to curve back towards the skull during early development causes the ears to be shaped irregularly. In the vast majority of cases the actual surgery involves opening an incision behind the ear and using sutures to pin back the ear into the desired position.
Pinnaplasty (ear pinning) is a common cosmetic surgery procedure that can be performed on children to increase confidence and wellbeing. A consultation with one of our surgeons is a great way to identify what will be in your child’s best interests. Rebuilding, moulding and removal of certain elements of the ear are amongst the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed. For example, microtia (small ear deformity) can be improved using cartilage from elsewhere in the body.

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