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Ear Surgery

Ear Surgery Santa Barbara

Surgery of the ear is also known as otoplasty.  It is a procedure that improves the shape and projection of the ear.  Ear surgery may be performed on children after the age of four or five but is commonly performed on adults who did not get the surgery when they were younger. Cosmetic operations are done on patients who want correction of large ears and for those whose ears protrude far from the head.  Usually the problem is twofold with an excess of cartilage in the back of the ear as well as a missing fold in the cartilage, causing the ear to stick outward.  Cosmetic surgeries on the ear lobe are also available to fix large lobes or lobes that have been damaged by ear rings or trauma.

The surgery itself is individualized for each patient depending upon the deformity being addressed.  It can be done under general anesthesia, sedation or local anesthesia alone.  The otoplasty procedure, which brings the ears closer to the head, begins with an incision hidden in the crease behind the ear.  This incision allows the cartilage to be accessed and removed or reshaped.  Permanent sutures are placed to shape the ear and set it properly.

There are various surgical techniques involved in correcting irregularities other than protruding ears.  These techniques can be discussed with your physician during the initial consultation.

After the surgery support for the new ear position and shape is placed.  This usually remains for several days. Afterwards a less bulky dressing is used like a hair band or cap.  Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery, which can be treated effectively with oral medication. Complications are rare.  The most common complication is recurrence of the ear protrusion over time since the cartilage has elastic properties.  If this occurs, correction can be done. Patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions.