Ear Surgery

Ear Surgery in Austin, TX

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Austin, TX board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Ned Snyder IV has performed many ear surgeries for patients of all ages. Ear surgery, or otoplasty, can reshape the ears to make them smaller, less protruding, flatter, or better developed. Dr. Snyder can usually change the appearance of the ear cartilage of young patients with splints. We recommend that children with ear deformities have surgery before they start kindergarten to limit the amount of teasing and stress that other children can inflict to someone who looks different. Snyder Plastic Surgery at The Breast and Body Center also provides ear surgeries for adult patients with deformities from traumatic injury or who never had their ears corrected as a child. Its not too late to achieve your aesthetic goals. Schedule your complimentary consultation for yourself or your child. Children under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

Surgical Technique

In the cases of protruding ears, the cartilage is reformed and sometimes supported by splints. Soft tissues may also be trimmed away. The incisions are made behind the ear to reveal the ear’s confines. The ears will be repositioned by tightening the skin and then sutured.

In cases of hidden ears, when cartilage is not fully developed, manipulations may include reshaping the cartilage by pulling or repositioning while splints are placed as supports. Sometimes, tissue grafting is also necessary to render volume.

During/After Surgery

Otoplasties are performed with general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility. It takes 1 – 2 hours to complete, and the patient will be sent home for recovery. The ear will be bandaged to keep the new position and shape in place. This also helps so that children cannot touch or play with their ears, which may complicate healing. Activities must be limited, especially within the first week. Scars will remain hidden behind the ears or within the natural folds if the incisions are made in front of the ear.

Torn Earlobe Care

Ear surgery may also involve a torn earlobe. This can occur with heavy earrings or through other trauma. The surgical repair of a torn earlobe is generally straightforward. The skin cleft between the 2 sides of the tear is removed and using either a skin graft or donated cartilage, a new lobe is reconstructed. Sutures are used that are placed on both the front and back of the ear and will remain intact for several weeks. Several post-operative visits may be required so that the sutures can be removed in several phases to ensure the lobe is strong and aesthetically appealing. 

Ear Surgery FAQs

Lasting Results?

The ears typically mature faster than any other part of the body, therefore, at an appropriate age and time when surgical adjustments are made, the results are generally long lasting. Even as the body changes due to age and gravity, the changes to the ear will be minimal and a secondary otoplasty is usually not needed.

When To Have Otoplasty?

On average, 5 – 6-year-olds are ideal candidates for otoplasty as the ear will be already developed and the cartilage and tissues will still be soft, making it easy to reshape. This age is also recommended as it is a time before any schooling, which helps to avoid teasing.

One Or Both Ears?

Usually, the condition is symmetrical to both ears. The final shape that the surgery will aim for will depend on the initial structure of the ear and how cartilages are placed. If the procedure is only for one ear, the shape will be patterned after the normally formed ear.  

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.