What is an Otoplasty?
Otoplasty, or ear pinning, is the surgical reshaping of ears, usually to decrease their prominence. In Ontario, for patients under the age of 18, this procedure is covered by OHIP. This requires a referral to Dr. Brace from your family doctor.
For those over the age of 18, otoplasty can still be performed, however, the cost of the procedure falls to the patient. There are incisionless techniques and surgical techniques to re-shape the natural folds in the ear and to pin the ears back.
Who is a candidate for otoplasty?
Dr. Brace performs otoplasty on both children and adults. The optimal age to seek otoplasty for a child is around the time they start school at 4-6 years of age. At this point the ear has achieved adult size. Surgery is not recommended before this time. Men and women who feel that their ears stand out in a prominent way are also candidates for this surgery. Prominent ears are often a genetic trait.
What is a lobuloplasty?
A lobuloplasty is the reshaping of the ear lobe usually to correct a sagging elongated appearance.
Who is a candidate for lobuloplasty?
Men and women seek lobuloplasty for different reasons. For most women seeking lobuloplasty, the ear lobe has been stretched from years of wearing heavy earrings. Men seeking lobuloplasty dislike the shape of their ear lobe and are seeking to create a smaller ear lobe that has a minimal hanging component.
What is a gauge ear repair?
A gauge ear is an ear piercing that has been stretched to accommodate spacers. A gauge ear repair is a restorative procedure to recreate a natural appearing ear lobe. The ear can be re-pierced after it has healed to accommodate standard earrings.
What is a slot ear repair?
A slot ear is an earlobe deformity caused by an earring that has partially torn a piercing towards the edge of the earlobe but not through it. Slot ear deformities make it difficult or impossible to wear earrings that use a post and backing as the earring will fall through the stretched piercing. It is possible to re-pierce the ear after a slot ear repair.
What is a lacerated ear lobe repair?
When an earring pulls through the edge of the ear lobe splitting the ear lobe from the piercing downward it is referred to as a lacerated ear lobe. This can be repaired and the ear re-pierced to accommodate earrings again.
Ear reshaping by Dr. Brace
As an accomplished double board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Brace brings his mastery of ear reshaping and reconstructive surgery to Guelph. His practice is restricted solely to procedures of the face. He uses his talents to not only provide cosmetic services but also trauma reconstruction and cancer reconstruction of ears. He has extensive surgical experience refining and restoring the beauty and functionality of ears. His work can be seen on local business owners, television personalities and in Hollywood movies on a number of Canadian child actors. He is trusted for his attention to detail and commitment to perfection with natural appearing results.
A consultation with Dr. Brace will help him understand your desired ear shape, position and overall aesthetic concern in the context of your facial balance. He will also examine and diagnose the underlying anatomical causes for your cosmetic concerns. Dr. Brace will take photographs of your ears to document their current state and will discuss a treatment plan to accomplish the best otoplasty, reshaping, or repair result.
For older children and adults ear reshaping and restorative surgery is done under local anesthetic as an in-office procedure. The advantage of this is full input from family and the patient on final position and shape of the ear. Younger children usually will not tolerate local anesthetic procedures and require general anesthesia in a hospital setting. The procedure takes 30-60 minutes per ear. Permanent sutures are used to bend and sculpt the ear cartilage. These are placed through a small hidden incision behind the ear. Dissolvable skin sutures are used and a dressing is placed around the ears for the first night. An athletic headband is then worn to keep the ears tucked in for the first 4 weeks as the skin and cartilage heal.
For lobuloplasty, gauge ear, slot ear, and lacerated ear repairs, the ear lobe is anesthetized and the ear is repaired. Tiny sutures are used to close the skin. Antibiotics and pain medication are provided. A dressing is applied to the incision line.
Recovery of Ear Surgery
Day 0 home with ears bandaged or dressed. Some aching in the ears develops after the local anesthetic wears off. Antibiotics are started.
Day 1 bandages removed. Bruising and swelling is evident in the ear and along any re-created folds. Athletic headband is worn for otoplasty patients. Incision care is started according to instructions.
Day 2-6 swelling peaks. Pain medication, antibiotics and ice are used to minimize swelling. Incisions are cleaned and dressed. Athletic headband in place if required.
Day 6/7 Follow-up with Dr. Brace for assessment of healing and removal of sutures.
1 month Dissolving skin sutures removed if still present. Assessment of ear shape. Swelling is greatly reduced but still present. Pulse dye laser treatment of incisions if necessary.
3 months Swelling resolved. Ear shape assessed. Incisions inspected. Photos taken. Pulse dye laser treatment to incisions if required.
6 months Final ear shape achieved with scar tissue supporting new form. Incisions inspected for proper healing. Pulse dye laser treatments as necessary.
1 year scars fully matured. Final photos taken. Discussion of any potential revisions.
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