Overly large ears, a condition called macrotia, can be treated with an innovative plastic surgery called otoplasty. This surgery by our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso, is a safe and effective remedy the shape, size, position or proportion of the ear(s) in patients 5-years-of-age and older. No matter if the defect is present at birth or if the patient has had a trauma to the ear, Dr. LaGrasso's meticulous skill with ear surgery will reform misshapen ears to a normal, symmetrical appearance regardless if the defect is hereditary, or occurs as a result from childbirth, or traumatic injury.
The most common correction is among children to reshape ‘cup ears’ (ears that appears large and protruding) or ‘hidden ears’ (those that are underdeveloped and appear flattened to the skull). The surgery reshapes the ear cartilage with splints in the cases of younger children. This surgery is recommended for children before the start of elementary school to avoid emotional distress that teasing can cause from a visible physical deformity. Other common corrections involve:
Other common corrections are:
- Overly large ears
- Protruding ears on one or both sides
- Adult dissatisfaction with a previous ear surgeon (requesting a revision otoplasty)
During a private consultation in his Miami, FL office, Dr. LaGrasso will discuss with you in detail what can realistically done with plastic surgery to achieve you or your child's aesthetic goals. Please call and schedule a consultation today.
Ear Surgery Candidates
As a highly individualized procedure, you should have otoplasty for yourself, and not to fulfill someone else's desires, or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
- Are at least 5-years-of-age or older
- Healthy, without a life-threatening illness
- Do not suffer from untreated, chronic ear infections
- Is able to cooperate and follow instructions well
- Able to communicate their feelings well
- Do not voice an objection to surgery when it is discussed with surgeon and parents
Teens & Adults
- Healthy, without a life-threatening illness
- Do not have an illness or medical condition that impairs healing
- Have a positive outlook on the surgery, and have specific aesthetic goals in mind for ear surgery
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In the cases of protruding ears, the cartilages are 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 cartilages are not fully developed, manipulations may include reshaping the cartilages by pulling or repositioning while splints are placed as supports. Sometimes, tissue grafting is also necessary to render volume.
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 two 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 in 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.
Plan Your Procedure
- Procedure Recovery Location
Ear Surgery FAQs
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.