Otoplasty – Restoring the perfect harmony of form and function with ear surgery
Problematic deviations regarding the ears are often frustrating, even if they can sometimes be hidden under the hair. With a simple procedure, it is possible to completely remedy this and also amend a patient’s mentality - both for children and adults. Protruding ears is one of the most common inharmonic congenital malformations of the ears. Especially with children, teasing can lead to shame and feelings of inferiority due to conspicuously protruding ears, and in the worst case, even cause mental disorders.
In order to avoid such issues both at an early age for children, as well as for adults, undergoing otoplasty may help to reduce these negative effects so that all patients can experience a renewed self-esteem. Otoplasty, also known as ear surgery, involves a surgery in which the ears are operated upon in order to rectify disfigurements that came from a result of a previous illness, accident, or congenital malformations. The overall goal is to construct a balanced appearance as well as reformed functional capabilities. A more harmonious appearance can also help strengthen a person’s well-being, how they deal with others, and potentially increase positive communication.
A patient may wish to undergo otoplasty for the following reasons:
- Constricted "cup ears"
- Lop ear (a flopped down upper ear pole)
- A stunted shape of the auricle
- Atypical cartilage folds
- Missing earlobes
- Microtia: extensive absence of the auricle except for a lobule with or without auricular remnant
- Defects of parts of the auricle (pinna) up to total loss due to accident or tumor surgery (tumor in the ear)
- Any enhancement to an imbalance in the aesthetic appearance or functionality according to each patient’s individual wishes and needs
No matter the necessary option agreed upon, as one of the best nasal and facial reconstructions specialist with his own medical practice, Dr. med. von Gregory has experience in all circumstances. He will provide in-depth and individualized advising during the initial consultation to ensure a patient’s well-being is taken into consideration throughout the entire process.
Otoplasty options for treatments – the spectrum of our services
An earfold refers to pinning back protruding ears. In contrast to other methods of otoplasty that use sutures, an earfold uses metal implants to rectify and pin back the shape of the ears, creating a more harmonious appearance.
Pinnaplasty (ear pinning surgery)
Different from an earfold, pinnaplasty still corrects protruding ears, but uses an incision and sutures to reshape and pin back the ears instead of implants. The process is usually accompanied by the removal of some cartilage so that the ears appear closer to the head, resulting in a more balanced look.
Ear reshaping surgery (ear enlargement, ear reduction)
A general form of otoplasty in which a patient undergoes a surgery in order to recuperate the shape of the ear. This could mean an ear enlargement, ear reduction or general reshaping. Such an operation depends primarily on the wishes of the patient and will be discussed in detail with Dr. med. von Gregory. The functionality is always preserved in this type of surgery, so Dr. med. von Gregory will always give the best recommendation for each individual case.
Ear lobe surgery
Ear lobe surgery
has the purpose of correcting the ear lobes in order to give the ears and face the desired harmonic shape. This could be comprised of an earlobe reduction, an ear lobe lift (pulling up), or repairing torn or broken ear lobes.
is a surgical option for those who have a deformed ear (cup ears, lop ears, indentations, or other), or as a result of microtia (underdeveloped ear from birth), as well as from an accident or illness such as cancer. The surgery will recreate the most natural and normal looking ear shape. Sometimes prosthetic ears are implemented to aid this process.
Closing of ear holes (gauges and jewelry)
Due to the modern trend of gauging (wearing round-shaped jewelry within the ear lobe and stretching it), problems with the aesthetic appearance of the ears can arise for if the decision to wear gauges should be reversed. Gauges can result in worn out earlobes with too large holes that no longer look beautiful and may even make it impossible to wear ear studs and rings. In order to reduce or close these ear holes, cartilage in the ear lobe can be cut and/or reshaped to restore a nicer and more natural ear appearance.
Ear corrections for babies and children
Children also suffer from congenital issues such as microtia or other illnesses or accidents.
Ear corrections for babies and children
can be completed in order to restore functionality and a pleasing aesthetic to the ear. Furthermore, early surgery in infancy helps avoid the need for surgery later, pre-eliminating complications and the potential mental stress that children often experience.
Ear correction for previously operated ear reconstruction
Sometimes patients come to Dr. med. von Gregory because they are disappointed regarding a post-operative result, because it didn’t turn out as expected. If a patient is in need of a second opinion and/or a secondary surgery, Dr. med. von Gregory is here to help remedy these functional and aesthetic issues. As a very experienced and professional surgeon, patients can always expect a clear opinion and the best advice.
Otoplasty – operation and surgical procedure
As one of the top specialists for the entire face, Dr. med. von Gregory will take the utmost care throughout the entire process. Taking excellent care of patients before, during and after treatment is extremely important to him. Otoplasty can vary widely depending on the technique used and surgery required. The treatment will begin with sedative and then local anesthesia. Then the treatment will be administered, which may include making incisions on the backs of ears or within the inner creases of the ears. Next, he may remove excess cartilage or fold this cartilage into the appropriate position and then fasten it together with stitching. Additional stitching may be implemented to close off the incisions. The entire process will last 2-3 hours. After the intervention patients will rest in a cosy room until the anesthesia has worn off.
Otoplasty recovery and course of treatment
Otoplasty is usually a minimal surgery. Dr. med. von Gregory is highly knowledgeable because of his many years of experience and his extensive know how, so he always uses the highest precision and attention to detail. As with any surgery, there are some guidelines that help to achieve the best possible results. After the operation, some bruising and swelling will occur and fade in about 2 weeks. Showering is already possible after one day, but keep the head dry for at least another week and avoid baths and pools for 3 weeks. If given antibiotics, take them as prescribed by Dr. med. von Gregory, so that possible complications are avoided and the patient can recover quickly. Also avoid smoking as well as strenuous activities for one month. Dr. med. von Gregory will answer all questions and provide guidance on each individual circumstance, so that each patient can soon enjoy their improved results.Otoplasty – Course of Treatment and Recovery Timeline
|Before the Operation
|10 days before the surgery avoid aspirin.
|4-7 days before the surgery avoid over the counter pain medication such as advil, ibuprofen and tylenol.
|Length of Operation
|1 - 1.5 hours (varies depending on procedure)
|Use of Anesthetic
|Local anesthesia and lightly put to sleep (full anesthesia is possible)
|Ambulatory (outpatient care, no overnight stay) or inpatient care possible
|Maintain bandaging for 1 week, return to clinic for check-up, then wear ear pads or headband for around 3 weeks
|Mild Discomfort and Swelling
|After 2-3 days
|After 1 week
|Children after 6 weeks, adults after 4 weeks
Otoplasty complications and risks
Otoplasty is considered a minor surgery so risks and complications are rare. Nevertheless, as with any surgical operation, there are a few points to take into account. These could be for example: scarring, post-operative asymmetry of the ears or partial skin loss, changes to skin sensitivity, allergies to medications, anesthesia or devices used, bleeding issues, or infections. However, through his many years of experience in the field of plastic and aesthetic facial surgery, Dr. med. von Gregory performs every surgery with the utmost care and provides comprehensive aftercare in order to keep possible risks at an absolute minimum. In addition, he will conduct an intensive preliminary consultation with the patient to be treated in order to clarify individual risks and complications, as well as be able to orient the treatment optimally to the patient and their desired result.
The cost of otoplasty varies widely because the procedures are planned on an individual basis according to the patient’s circumstances and wishes. Dr. med. von Gregory has a multitude of experience so during the consultation, he will work together with each patient to define an individual treatment plan that fits the personal needs. Based upon this, each patient will receive a concrete cost plan and schedule an appointment for the operation.