Correction of Protruding Ears

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Ear position can be corrected on adults or on children five years or older. The objective of ear surgery is to permanently recontour the pliable ear cartilage. This is done by sculpting and reshaping the cartilage through incisions hidden on the back surface of the ear.

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Anesthesia:

General anesthesia administered by a physician-anesthesiologist specializing in facial procedures. Under anesthesia, there is no pain and no awareness. An intravenous is started and you drift off to sleep.

Time:

Approximately 2 hours (both ears) in the operating room.

Recovery Room:

Usually 1 hour in a fully monitored and state-of-the-art recovery room at the surgery center.

Convalescence:

Professional care is optional. If you choose to recover at home, someone must be with you the first night. As with all of our procedures, precise instruction/direction sheets and a “care package” of supplies and medications are provided.

Stitch Removal:

Incisions are generally entirely “behind the ear” and are closed with dissolving stitches. These stitches may take up to 6 weeks to dissolve but can be removed sooner at the patient’s request.

Return To Work, School, Normal Activities, Etc.:

One can return to work, school and normal activities 5 to 7 days after surgery. The ears may still be bruised and slightly swollen and will be sore to the touch but this abates rapidly. Obviously, no strenuous exercise is permitted for the first 2 weeks and no contact sports for 6 weeks.

During The First Week:

A helmet-type dressing is placed over the ears and head immediately after surgery. It is removed the following day during a brief office visit. At the same visit, the small rubber drains are removed from the wounds; these were placed to reduce swelling and bruising. The ears are then lightly redressed. The dressing can be removed at home the following day (two days after surgery) and one can shower and wash their hair.

After The First Week:

There are no restrictions except for the prohibition against strenuous exercise for 2 weeks after surgery and no contact sports for 6 weeks after surgery. For those first 6 weeks, to protect the newly repositioned ears, we recommend wearing an elastic skier’s headband at night.

For The First Several Months:

The ears will have diminished sensation and perhaps minimal residual swelling. Generally by 3 months the incisions have softened and become nearly invisible and the ears feel “natural”.

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