Ear Reshaping (Otoplasty) in Los Angeles, CA
Ear reshaping, or otoplasty, improves the shape, proportions, and angle of the ears. Many people are born with protruding ears and wish the appearance of their ears was a little less noticeable. This reason is the most common one people give for ear reshaping, as it can be a source of teasing in children and self-consciousness in adults. But ear reshaping corrects other problems, too — misshapen, mismatched, or underdeveloped ears, and ears that have been damaged from illness or injury.
Dr. Bresnick in Los Angeles is skilled and experienced in all types of otoplasty procedures. The surgery requires minimal downtime and offers a lifetime of reward in improved self-esteem and confidence. Correction of even minor deformities can have enormous cosmetic and psychological benefits. Find out how otoplasty can make you feel better about your appearance and yourself. Call us today at (818) 981-3333 or schedule a consultation.
What Is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty involves reshaping the external portions of the ear to make them more attractive and less noticeable. In prominent ears, the most common problem corrected by ear reshaping, the ears have an under-developed upper ear fold (antihelix) and an overdeveloped cartilage portion in the middle region of the ear (concha). Dr. Bresnick examines each patient carefully and designs a customized plan for ear reshaping. Most patients with protruding ears benefit from a cosmetic reshaping, in which Dr. Bresnick recreates the upper ear fold while setting back or reducing the overdeveloped middle portion of the ear. The majority of the surgery takes place behind the ear, leaving no visible scars on the front of the ear.
Dr. Bresnick will tailor his approach for each ear-reshaping procedure to the patient’s needs. Some patients require extensive ear reshaping, while others may only need a minor tweak to achieve their ideal ear appearance. Come in and talk about your goals with Dr. Bresnick, and he will explain your treatment possibilities. Most of our otoplasty patients are delighted with the results we can achieve.
Ear reshaping does not affect hearing and does not change the position of the ears on the head (though the goal of the surgery is often to correct the angle at which the ears protrude from the head).
What Problems Can Ear Reshaping Surgery Correct?
Ear reshaping can fix:
- Prominent or protruding ears — ears that stick out too far from the head
- Overly large ears — a condition called macrotia
- Unusually small ears
- Lop ear — a condition in which the tops of the ears fold downward
- Shell ear — a condition in which the ear has no normal creases and no outer fold
- Large or creased and wrinkled earlobes
- Ears damaged by illness or injury, including earlobes that have been stretched or torn
Who Is a Good Candidate for Ear Reshaping?
Dr. Bresnick can perform otoplasty on adults and teens, and on children after the ears have reached their full size and cartilage has stabilized (usually after age 5). The procedure is appropriate for anyone who feels self-conscious about their ears and would like to improve their appearance.
The ideal candidate is in good health, does not smoke (or is willing to quit tobacco for at least three weeks before and three weeks after surgery), and can stop the use of specific medications (such as blood thinners) for at least two weeks before surgery.
When considering ear reshaping for children, the desire to make a change should come from the child. Child psychologists recommend that children be old enough to understand what the operation involves. Children must also be old enough to cooperate with and follow post-operative care instructions.
Why Should I Choose Dr. Bresnick for Ear Reshaping in Los Angeles?
Dr. Bresnick has a great deal of experience with ear reshaping and has performed over 1,000 otoplasty procedures! He enjoys cosmetic and reconstructive ear surgery and has experience in all aspects of external ear surgery, ranging from otoplasty to actually creating ears for children born without external ears. His unique experience in ear surgery makes him an ideal choice for patients seeking cosmetic or reconstructive ear surgery in Southern California.
Dr. Bresnick’s philosophy is to maintain a natural look for the ears. Beautiful, natural ears have a defined shape and are less than 2 cm from the head and at an angle of about 20 degrees between the ear and head at the top of the ear. To wear sunglasses, there has to be room for the glasses to fit on the top and behind the ears. Dr. Bresnick is careful to reshape the ear with these measurements and concepts in mind. Our patients are delighted by their ear surgery results and many recommend Dr. Bresnick to friends and family.
How Does Ear Reshaping Surgery Take Place?
Dr. Bresnick performs the otoplasty procedure in his fully accredited surgical center, Encino Surgicenter. Children do best with a light general anesthetic, while adults can have the surgery with either local anesthesia, local anesthesia with sedation, or a general anesthetic if desired. We’ll help you choose the right anesthesia options for your situation.
The procedure itself varies, depending on the correction Dr. Bresnick is making.
- When the goal of the surgery is to pull protruding ears closer to the head, Dr. Bresnick makes a small incision behind the ear. He then sculpts and reforms the cartilage to achieve the desired appearance, and uses sutures to hold the ear in place during healing.
- To reduce the size of overly large ears, Dr. Bresnick artfully removes tissue and reshapes the ears.
- To augment the size of unusually small ears or to correct ears that are missing parts, Dr. Bresnick does ear reconstruction. This procedure involves “harvesting” tissue for the new ear from elsewhere on the body. He will often use rib cartilage to shape the new ear, for example.
The most common procedures take one to three hours. More complex procedures take longer. Following the surgery, patients relax in the recovery room for a short time before returning home to complete their recovery. Plan on having someone drive you home after surgery and remain with you for the first couple of days.
What to Expect in Recovery From Ear Reshaping
Most of our patients experience minimal discomfort with ear reshaping, and are often surprised by the relative ease of the recovery. Dr. Bresnick numbs the ear area with a long-lasting anesthetic. This anesthetic lasts long after surgery so that for many hours, there is little to no discomfort. Pain medications can be used as necessary to ensure a comfortable recovery experience, though most patients find they don’t need to use prescription pain medication.
For the first night after ear reshaping surgery, patients will sleep with their head elevated. A sterile dressing protects the ears and creates a slight pressure to reduce swelling and hold the ears in place. The doctor will examine you and change your dressings the day after surgery. Patients can wash their hair by the third day after surgery. Most patients return to school or work about five days after their procedure.
We recommend you don’t touch your ears for the first two weeks after surgery, until the incisions have completely healed. We also suggest you avoid strenuous activity and exercise for two weeks to a month after the procedure, and to avoid swimming and contact sports, such as football or judo, for even longer.
Common Questions About Ear Reshaping
How Old Do I Have to Be Before Undergoing Otoplasty?
This procedure offers excellent results for patients of nearly all ages. We perform ear surgery on children, teens, and adults. However, children must be at least 5 years old before undergoing cosmetic ear surgery.
Is Otoplasty Painful?
Otoplasty offers a relatively comfortable recovery. Dr. Bresnick uses a long-lasting anesthetic that provides pain relief for many hours after surgery. We also prescribe pain medications to ensure your recovery is as comfortable as possible.
When Will I See the Results of Ear Reshaping?
When ear reshaping is done to correct protruding ears, the results are almost immediate. You’ll see your ears in their new position as soon as the bandages come off. The results will look better after about two weeks when the swelling goes down. If you have ear reconstruction or more extensive ear reshaping, optimal results may take a bit longer to appear.
Are Ear Surgery Results Permanent?
Yes. Barring injury or trauma, the results of cosmetic ear surgery last for a lifetime, even Dr. Bresnick performs the procedure during childhood.
Does Ear Reshaping Leave Scars?
In most cases, the scars left by otoplasty are behind the ear, where they are not visible. In some ear reconstruction procedures, Dr. Bresnick may need to make an incision on the front of the ear, which he places within the ear fold to make it less visible. To minimize visible scarring with ear reshaping, as with any plastic surgery procedure, you should avoid sun exposure until the incision has fully healed and the scar has lightened.
What Ear Problems Can Ear Reshaping Correct?
We can treat most aesthetic ear complaints with ear surgery. Dr. Bresnick is experienced with treating ears that stick out from the head, ears with excessive cartilage, and even patients born without an external ear.
How Much Time Will I Need Off From Work After Ear Surgery?
Most patients only need to take off one week from work or school after surgery.
Can Otoplasty Treat Ear Trauma?
Ear reshaping can treat both congenital ear malformations and problems arising from ear trauma. We can treat cauliflower ear and other ear defects with this procedure as well.
What Other Procedures Complement Ear Surgery?
Will My Health Insurance Cover Ear Reshaping?
In most cases, insurance companies consider ear reshaping to be a cosmetic procedure, and they do not cover it. However, they sometimes will extend coverage when the procedure corrects a severe deformity or reconstructs an ear after injury. We can explain the costs, the possibility of insurance coverage, and payment options when you come in for a consultation.