Surgical Technique

The technique used during ear surgery will depend on the abnormality. First, there may be an insufficient amount of ear cartilage to support the fold of the ear, or too much cartilage where the ear canal starts. Both issues will cause the ear to protrude outward. In some cases, the ears may appear too large. Regardless of the condition, the cartilage will usually be addressed and either removed or reshaped. Then, the cartilage will be secured with sutures into a new position closer to the head. The incision is generally placed within the natural folds of the ear so scarring is not an issue.

Torn Earlobe

In surgical cases where a torn earlobe is the concern, the repair is generally straightforward. The skin cleft between the two sides of the split is removed, and a new lobe is reconstructed using sutures that are placed in both the front and back of the ear. These stitches will remain intact for several weeks as the skin heals. The sutures are usually removed in several phases to ensure that the lobe is strong and aesthetically appealing.

During/After Surgery

Otoplasty cases are performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure in an accredited surgical facility whereas torn earlobe repair is performed in office under local anesthesia. The entire surgery typically takes about 2 hours to complete. After surgery, patients will be sent home with their heads wrapped in a compression bandage, which will later be replaced with lighter bandaging. Initially, patients will feel discomfort if they attempt to move their ears. This will subside in a few days. Younger patients will need to be monitored so they do not touch or play with their ears during the healing process.

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