Unhappy with Your Ears? Consider Otoplasty

Most people seem to be happiest with ears that are unremarkable, because anything out of the ordinary offers fodder for teasing or taunting. Children with oversized or undersized ears often get bullied, and adults can feel self-conscious about ears that call attention to themselves.

Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, can correct many ear deformities for people of all ages, and it’s one of our specialties here at the plastic and cosmetic surgical practice of Frederick H. Watkins, MD, in Rockville, Maryland, and McLean, Virginia. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Watkins is highly qualified and vastly experienced in the science and art of aesthetics, but the reasons our patients love him is because he takes the time to understand their unique goals and desires so he can personalize their treatment plan. 

If you’re dissatisfied with your ears, Dr. Watkins can help you achieve the look you want with otoplasty. Here’s what you should know before diving in.

Why consider otoplasty?

Otoplasty, which is considered an elective cosmetic surgery, changes the outer shape and position of your ear or ears. It can address several conditions, including ears that are:

Although not recommended for children under age 5, as their ear cartilage is still developing, otoplasty can be performed on anyone who is in good overall health, a nonsmoker, and able to communicate clearly with Dr. Watkins about their goals and expectations.

Prepping for your otoplasty

When you have a consultation with Dr. Watkins about your otoplasty, he begins by talking with you about why you want ear surgery and what you expect as an outcome. He also reviews your medical history and any medications you’re taking. 

Dr. Watkins then discusses the risks of otoplasty. Although this procedure is common and considered very safe, all surgical procedures include the risk of infection, excessive bleeding, and reaction to anesthesia. This is a good time to ask any questions you may have about Dr. Watkins’ credentials and experience, possible complications, scarring, and recovery time.

What happens during otoplasty?

On the day of your surgery, our team makes sure you’re comfortable and discusses the entire procedure with you. Then, you’re given anesthesia so you’ll sleep painlessly through your surgery.

In the case of protruding ears, Dr. Watkins makes a small incision just inside the rim of your ear, so he can access the conchal cartilage that makes up the deep cavity of your outer ear. Then Dr. Watkins reduces that tissue or creates a new shape that doesn’t stick out so prominently from your head. 

When he’s satisfied with the results, he closes the incision with a few stitches carefully placed to minimize scarring.

After otoplasty

As soon as the anesthesia wears off, you’re free to go home; but you can’t drive yourself, so please arrange for a family member or friend to take you home. You may feel some discomfort or mild pain for the first day or two, so Dr. Watkins might prescribe some medication to take.

Beyond that, your job is to keep your ears clean and protected, following Dr. Watkins’ aftercare instructions. You may need to wear a protective dressing on your ears during the early stages of healing, but as soon as the dressing is removed, you’ll see the results immediately. 

Otoplasty offers a permanent solution to a common problem. So if you’re not happy with your ears, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Frederick H. Watkins, MD, today.

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