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Otoplasty in New York City

Otoplasty, also known as ear reshaping, is a cosmetic facial procedure designed to minimize or reduce the appearance of protruding or misshapen ears. Cosmetic ear surgery can have a truly transformative effect on patients, particularly those who have endured years of social embarrassment or ridicule due to the shape or position of their ears. Torn or partially torn earlobes can also be corrected.

Though not as invasive as other cosmetic surgeries, otoplasty requires a relatively short recovery time – making it well worth the investment. For typical patients, the self-confidence gained as a result of the surgery is priceless, instilling them with new-found self-assurance.

Quick Facts

Procedure Length

2-3 hours

Anesthesia

General or local, depending upon the patient

IN/OUT Patient

Outpatient for adults, likely inpatient for children (one night)

RISKS

Asymmetry, risk of infection, problems with stitches, overcorrection, possibility for revision surgery

SIDE EFFECTS

Temporary swelling and bruising, tenderness, itching at site of stitches

RECOVERY

Back at work in one week
Back to school in one week
Physical activity in two weeks
Swelling should disappear in three weeks

DURATION OF RESULTS

Results are permanent

Preparing for cosmetic ear surgery

Your otoplasty experience begins with your initial consultation at Dr. Preminger’s Manhattan office. During this time, you will be asked to fill out the required paperwork and provide our staff with your general medical history and background. From there, you will share a confidential meeting time with the surgeon where you can feel comfortable discussing your goals and aspirations for your ear reshaping procedure. We encourage you to speak openly and honestly about your experience thus far, and how you hope an otoplasty will help improve your self-confidence and outlook.

Your consultation will also involve a discussion of the potential risks associated with the ear reshaping procedure.

Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning, involves an incision in the natural crease between the ear and the skull, thereby reducing, but not eliminating, the possibility of noticeable scarring.

In addition to the above-mentioned otoplasty-specific risks, there are general risks associated with any surgical procedure. Namely, a small percentage of the population may experience an adverse reaction to the anesthesia used for sedation during the procedure. Likewise, allergic reactions to latex, surgical tape or other medical supplies used during or after the procedure have been reported.

Possible risks associated with ear reshaping include

  • Asymmetry: It is possible for the ears to appear uneven or asymmetrical following the otoplasty procedure.
  • Skin sensation: Changes in skin sensation in the areas in and around the otoplasty incision are possible, and almost always diminish over time.
  • Stitches: Otoplasty requires the use of several stitches. Sometimes, the area can become infected if it is not kept clean and dry.
  • Overcorrection: For some, ear reshaping results in an “over-corrected” look that makes the ears appear pinned back or pointed.

Procedure

On the day of the operation, you will check into the surgical center and should expect a 2-3 hour procedure. In most cases, otoplasty patients can return home the same day as the procedure. However, if you are considering otoplasty for your child, Dr. Preminger may wish to have the patient remain under observation overnight to ensure no complications arise.

The type of sedation used on otoplasty patients depends primarily on the patient’s age and whether any anesthesia problems have occurred in the past. For some, local anesthesia and sedation may be all that is necessary.

For others, general anesthesia (which renders the patient completely unconscious) is necessary to properly complete the procedure.

During the otoplasty, Dr. Preminger will make an incision behind the ears and work to reshape the cartilage within the ear to create a more attractive shape and contour. In addition, Dr. Preminger may use sutures to position the ear closer to the side of the head. For patients with oversized ears, cartilage will be removed to create a more symmetrical appearance for the patient.

"Large or protruding ears are often a source of childhood bullying and adult stigma. Otoplasty can offer a relatively simple end to that cycle of negativity."

- B. Aviva Preminger, MD

Recovery from ear surgery

For most patients, recovery for ear reshaping surgery lasts about one week. In the adult patient, Dr. Preminger recommends taking at least one week off from normal work activities, particularly if the patient works in a physically-demanding atmosphere. For young children, Dr. Preminger may recommend 1-2 weeks off from school, and at least two weeks abstention from gym class and participation in sports.

Gauze and bandages will cover the ears for 24-48 hours following the otoplasty. Patients are advised to keep pressure off of the ears, avoid sleeping on either side, and to consider wearing button-down shirts to avoid unnecessary pressure on the area. Patients may be provided pain medication – which should be taken as needed – and are advised to keep the area as clean as possible.

Results of ear surgery in NYC

The results of an otoplasty are immediate and permanent. While swelling and bruising may be apparent for the first 2-3 weeks, the appearance of the ears immediately following the removal of the bandages is a close indicator of long-term results.

If you are considering an otoplasty for you or your child in New York City and would like to arrange a private consultation with Dr.Preminger, please call (212) 706-1900 today.

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