Thinking About Otoplasty?
You MUST Ask Your Plastic Surgeon This Critical Question about Otoplasty
I really enjoy performing otoplasty (also known as ear surgery and ear pinning), because so many of my otoplasty patients are thrilled with the results of the surgery. As these patients know, an ear never enhances a person’s appearance; it can only detract from it. No one compliments George Clooney on his masculine and sexy ears!
Patients come to me requesting ear surgery for all sorts of reasons. I’ve worked on women who want to wear their hair up for their wedding day and men who are tired of wearing their hair long to cover their ears. It is also common for parents to bring in their tween and teen children who have been teased in school. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen patients who have already had otoplasty but are unhappy with their results. Imagine saving up thousands of dollars for a surgery to finally address a physical feature that is harming your self-esteem…only to look in the mirror after the surgery and be unhappy!
If you are considering ear surgery, you absolutely must ask any plastic surgeon you are considering this critical question: “How do you perform otoplasty?”
The Three Point Method
If you take a look at your ears in the mirror, you will notice three distinct areas. You have the very top of the ear, the middle of the ear, and then the lobe at the bottom. Surgeons who use best practices when performing otoplasty will create an individualized plan for you based on the shape of your ear. This often means addressing each of the three areas of your ear. Your surgeon may recreate the upper ear fold, reduce cartilage in the middle of the ear, and tuck in the lobe of the ear if it sticks out.
What I see way too often in the patients who come to me to fix a previous otoplasty is that the first surgeon focused only on the top of the ear, trying to pin back the part that stuck out without also addressing the middle portion and lower portion of the ear. A good otoplasty surgeon reshapes the entire ear so it looks balanced and harmonious on the patient.
If a surgeon only pins back the top, the rest of ear can look asymmetrical, unnatural, and deformed. If an inexperienced surgeon only tucks back the central region of the ear and ignores the top and lobe, the ear develops what is known as a “telephone deformity.” In this situation, the central portion of the ear has been pushed back, making the upper portion and lobe appear to stick out more! The ear takes the shape of an old-fashioned telephone, with a strange curved appearance.
When patients see me for correction after unsuccessful otoplasty elsewhere, I have to first undo the previous procedure if possible. Then, we can begin correct shape improvements to assist with creating a more attractive, natural shape.
Test Your Surgeon
In your consultation with your plastic surgeon, you will want them to address all three areas of your ear. Not every patient needs folding of the bottom part of the ear, but you still want your surgeon to look at each part of your ear and explain why they will or will not work with that portion. Almost all otoplasty cases require work on the top and middle part of the ear. If your surgeon only speaks about pinning the top of the ear without reshaping or remaking the fold and reducing cartilage, please get a second opinion. You do not want to have to find another surgeon to fix what the first surgeon missed!
If you’d like to schedule an otoplasty appointment with me, please use this contact page.
Enjoy viewing our otoplasty before and after photos.