Otoplasty [Ear Reshaping]

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Otoplasty, also known as Ear Reshaping, offers a way to enhance the symmetry, shape, and position of the ears. With this cosmetic procedure, performed by the highly acclaimed Dr. Wayne F Larrabee, Jr., MD, MSH, FACS at The Larrabee Center in Seattle and Kirkland, WA, patients can achieve remarkable results. Dr. Larrabee, recognized internationally for his expertise in facial plastic surgery, has developed a unique suture technique exclusively for otoplasty. His extensive knowledge and dedication to teaching the next generation of surgeons make him a trusted authority in the field. Otoplasty offers a fascinating transformation, ensuring fresh definition to your ears that will leave you feeling confident and satisfied

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What Is Otoplasty? 

Otoplasty, or ear surgery, is a procedure that can correct misshapen or protruding ears. It is commonly used to address defects in the ear structure that are present at birth or become apparent with development. Additionally, otoplasty can treat deformed ears caused by injury. Otoplasty can create a more natural shape, bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Even minor deformities can be corrected, resulting in significant improvements in appearance and self-esteem.

 

How Does Otoplasty Work? 

When you come in for your private consultation with Seattle’s top facial plastic surgeons, Dr. Larrabee will meet with you to discuss your When you have your private consultation with Dr. Larrabee, Seattle’s top facial plastic surgeon, you will discuss your cosmetic goals for your ears in detail. Together, you will determine if ear-reshaping surgery is right for you. During the procedure, the ear cartilage will be altered to enhance its aesthetics, and any incisions will be concealed behind the ear. It’s important to note that the change in ear shape will not affect your hearing. Dr. Larrabee has developed and published a suture technique for contouring the ear folds, simplifying and improving the precision of the procedure. With the results of this procedure usually lasting a lifetime, you likely won’t have to worry about correcting the appearance of your ears again. 

Benefits Of Otoplasty 

Otoplasty provides significant benefits, such as the correction of prominent, protruding, or misshapen ears, increased self-confidence, a safe treatment approach, and long-lasting results. 

What is recovery like after ear Reshaping Surgery?

About the Procedure

Why Choose Otoplasty? 

Protruding ears are often the primary motivation for individuals seeking ear reshaping surgery. The procedure is aimed at addressing the distraction caused by ears that stick out excessively, diverting attention from other attractive facial features. Ear reshaping offers an opportunity to bring the ears’ natural resting point closer to the head, resulting in a more symmetrical appearance. 

How Does The Procedure Feel? When Will the Results Show? 

The use of anesthesia ensures a painless experience, prioritizing comfort. Otoplasty offers near-immediate results. As the dressings supporting the ear’s shape during the initial healing phase are removed, the ear is permanently repositioned closer to the head.  

Potential Risks and Complications of Otoplasty Procedure 

Although it is fairly uncommon for there to be complications with otoplasty, some potential risks should be considered. These include bleeding, infection, asymmetrical outcome, scarring, prolonged numbness or tingling around the ears, and suture extrusion or wound separation. However, these complications are typically easily manageable. Patients are provided with professional guidance on caring for the ears and preventing accidental  trauma during the short recovery 

What To Expect Before Otoplasty Procedure 

During your private consultation with Dr. Larrabee, one of Seattle’s top facial plastic surgeons, you will discuss your specific cosmetic goals for your ears. Together, you will determine if ear-reshaping surgery is the most suitable solution for you. 

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What To Expect During Otoplasty Procedure 

During the procedure, the ear cartilage will be altered to enhance aesthetics, with incisions strategically concealed behind the ear. It’s important to note that modifying the ear shape will not affect your hearing. Dr. Larrabee has developed and published a suture technique for precise and simplified contouring of the ear folds. Rest assured, after this procedure, you won’t have to worry about ear appearance correction again as the results are long-lasting. 

What To Expect After Otoplasty Procedure 

Following otoplasty, the ears are securely bandaged and a dressing may be applied around the head. Once the bandages are removed during the initial follow-up, patients immediately witness the remarkable outcome of the surgery. However, it is important to note that the ears may still appear red and swollen, requiring protection against accidental bumps. Postoperative discomfort after otoplasty varies, but is usually minimal.

While some patients find over-the-counter pain relievers sufficient, others may rely on prescription painkillers for a few days. The gentle compression from the dressing around the head can also aid in alleviating soreness and tenderness. To minimize the risk of injury, a loose headband may be worn for a period of 2 to 6 weeks. Patients may also consider applying ice packs for soothing relief if needed. Lastly, during the initial stage of recovery, it is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothing that opens in the front. Due to the ears’ vulnerability, even tasks as simple as putting on a shirt over the head can cause discomfort. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a good candidate for otoplasty? 

If you have protruding ears that you’d like to rest closer to your head and wish to alter the overall shape or increase the symmetry between them, you may be an ideal candidate for otoplasty. Protruding ears are a common reason for ear-reshaping surgery as they can distract from other attractive facial features. Many people opt for ear reshaping to bring their ears to a more natural resting position, closer to the head to make a more natural contour. 

Is otoplasty performed on both ears or just one? 

In most cases, otoplasty is performed on both ears to achieve a balanced and symmetrical appearance. However, some individuals may only require surgery on one ear if it has a noticeable deformity or is disproportionately larger than the other. Ultimately, the decision depends on the individual’s unique goals and desired outcome. It is important to consult with a qualified facial plastic surgeon to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. 

At what age can otoplasty be performed on children? 

Otoplasty can be performed once the ears have fully developed physically, typically by age four or five for most children. Performing otoplasty at this stage offers significant benefits, such as the pliability of the ears’ cartilage. With the cartilage being relatively soft, the surgeon can more easily reshape and mold the ears to achieve better proportion with the face and head. Additionally, undergoing otoplasty earlier in life may result in more comfortable and rapid healing. 

Is otoplasty performed under general anesthesia? 

Otoplasty is generally performed in an outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia. In the case of adults opting for otoplasty with a local anesthetic and sedative, the procedure may take place in the office or outpatient surgery center.  

What is the recovery time for otoplasty? 

After otoplasty, the ears are initially bandaged and may have a dressing around the head. The bandages are removed at the initial follow-up, revealing the immediate difference achieved through surgery. However, the ears may remain red and swollen and require protection from accidental bumps. 

Postoperative discomfort following otoplasty can vary but can be managed with appropriate medication. Some patients find relief with over-the-counter pain relievers, while others may need prescription painkillers for a few days. The gentle compression provided by the dressing can also help alleviate soreness and tenderness. To prevent injury, a loose headband can be worn for 2 to 3 weeks. If necessary, patients can apply ice packs to soothe any soreness. Additionally, during the initial recovery stage, it is advisable to wear loose, front-opening clothing to avoid any inadvertent injury to the ears. 

When will I see the final results of otoplasty? 

Ear surgery provides nearly instant results for protruding ears. The dressings that support the new ear shape are removed during the initial healing phase, revealing the improved positioning of the ear, closer to the head.

Will there be visible scars after otoplasty? 

Surgical scars are expertly concealed either behind the ear or within its natural creases. 

Are there any risks associated with otoplasty? 

Otoplasty is a safe and effective procedure; however, like all surgeries, it carries certain risks. Some potential risks include asymmetry in-ear placement, suture extrusion or wound separation, an asymmetrical outcome, bleeding, infection, prolonged numbness or tingling around the ears, poor scarring, overcorrection, and problems with stitches. It is crucial to carefully choose a facial plastic surgeon to perform otoplasty.

Fortunately, the complications associated with otoplasty are generally manageable. Patients receive clear and concise information regarding ear care and how to avoid accidental bumps during the short recovery period. Additionally, the surgeon’s training and experience play a significant role in surgical outcomes. Dr. Larrabee, an award-winning physician, is highly regarded in the field and is considered one of the best in Seattle, WA, and America. 

Can otoplasty correct stretched or torn earlobes? 

Our ears are one of the most noticeable and prominent features on our heads, so any deformities or injuries can be quite disheartening.  Otoplasty can correct a wide range of ear-related issues, including stretched or torn earlobes. By reshaping the ear cartilage and removing excess tissue, otoplasty can create a more aesthetically pleasing earlobe that complements your facial features.  

Can adults undergo otoplasty? 

Otoplasty is a procedure that is not exclusive to pediatric patients. It is also opted for by adults who missed the chance to have this beneficial procedure during childhood. These adults can choose to have otoplasty done in their twenties, thirties, or even later in life. This minimally invasive procedure has the potential to significantly improve a person’s self-confidence, regardless of age. 

Will otoplasty affect my hearing? 

Otoplasty will not affect your hearing. The surgery focuses solely on the outer ear and does not involve any changes to the ear canal or inner ear structures that are responsible for hearing.

Can otoplasty correct other ear-related issues, such as congenital deformities? 

Otoplasty can improve any birth defect of the ear structure. 

Will otoplasty change the size of my ears? 

Otoplasty enhances the shape, position, proportion, and size of the ear. 

Is otoplasty painful? 

Otoplasty is a relatively painless procedure as medications are administered to ensure your comfort during the surgical process. The available options include local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia.  

Can I wear glasses or sunglasses after otoplasty? 

Although it is safe to wear glasses after otoplasty, it is important to be cautious and wait until you have fully healed before doing so. Your surgeon will guide you when it is appropriate to start wearing sunglasses again, as each case varies depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery.  

 

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Schedule A Consultation

Please fill out the form below to schedule your consultation at The Larrabee Center in Seattle.

What Happens in a
Consultation?

01. Get to know Dr. Larrabee.

02. Help him understand you and your goals.

03. Learn about our services and specialties.

How May We Help?

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