It’s Dr. Henstrom here with Utah Facial Plastics. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. We are getting a lot of calls about a common procedure that we perform. This is a time of the year for people to be looking into getting an otoplasty, otherwise known as an ear-pinning procedure, for themselves or a child of theirs. I just wanted to tell you a little more about this procedure and what to expect with an otoplasty.
First of all, we don’t typically do an otoplasty on anyone younger than age six. You’ve got to get to that age since most of the adult sized ear is done by then. Children, we’ll typically take them to the operating room because it’s difficult to get them numb and comfortable. So those we’ll typically take to the operating room. When done on adults, we’ll usually do those cases in the office.
Usually when people are seeking to have an otoplasty it’s because their ears stick out too far. There are a couple of major things that will cause that in most people. Once, when you were born maybe the fold didn’t form, the anti-helix, and it’s flat meaning the tip of the ear really protrudes far. The other thing as that this cartilage, this bowl, is too large and pushes the ear out from your head. Usually at least one, if not both of those things, needs to be fixed. The way we do that is all with the back side of the ear. All of that is done on the back side of the ear and hides really well. And then we use permanent sutures on the back of the ear so that when we tie those sutures it forms that fold and brings the ear in, depending on where we put it and how we suture that in.
Once the ear has been pinned back with those permanent sutures that are underneath the skin we then close that incision. When we’re done with both sides you will get some gauze on your ears with a wrap on your head that stays on for about twenty four hours. You take that off at home and we continue to have you wear this soft velcro-strapped headband to keep them in and take pressure off those internal sutures and let it heal. You come back a week later and we’ll remove the stitches. Even before then, you’ll see the difference your ears have undergone. For most patients it’s a very satisfying surgery, especially when they’ve been carrying a burden and were maybe teased and have hidden their ears in one way or another since they were young. Maybe they’ve worn hats or have kept their hair long. Hopefully we get them comfortable enough to wear their hear pulled back or take their hat off.
In conclusion, otoplasty is one of the more common procedures that we perform. We love doing them and would be happy seeing you or talking to you more about it anytime. We can see you soon in office or talk to you online. Call us to schedule at (801) 776-2220 or contact us HERE.