Otoplasty, sometimes described as "pinning back" the ears, is designed to change their shape and contour. It may be performed on anyone over the age of five or six years old.
Prior or surgery, a medical history is taken in order to evaluate the general health of the patient. The physician and patient or family member discuss how the ears should look and what can realistically be expected. The type of anesthesia to be used, the procedure, and possible risks and complications are also discussed
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Otoplasty can be done under general anesthesia with the patient asleep or under local anesthesia in which the area is numbed and the patient remains awake. A basic procedure involves an incision made at the back of the ear to expose the cartilage. After reshaping the cartilage, the incisions are closed with small sutures and the ears are covered with bandages.
Pain connected with the surgery is minimal to moderate and is controlled with oral medication. Bandages are removed within a few days but may be replaced with a lighter head dressing. Bruising around the area occurs but fades within a few weeks. Scars from the incisions fade significantly in time and are, for the most part, inconspicuous because the incisions are made within the creases of the ears.