436 N. Bedford Drive, Suite 300
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Otoplasty or Ear Pinning
Otoplasty, or ear surgery, refers to the surgical correction of ears to pin them back, reduce them in size, correct a deformity, or make them more symmetrical. This is done when the ears have fully grown, which occurs at the age of 5 or 6 years old. Protuberant ears can be a devastating aesthetic deformity, especially for the maturing child subject to the ridicule of his or her peers. Adults are also good candidates for an Otoplasty, which can be done in conjunction with other facial plastic cosmetic procedures. Otoplasty is a simple straight forward procedure, which can give the ears a natural shape, orientation and configuration, and have dramatic positive effects on one's self esteem. In general, an Otoplasty takes about two hours in our Beverly Hills California surgery center.
Parents who are considering Otoplasty for their child need to recognize that an Otoplasty not only provides a cosmetic improvement, but also a psychological improvement as well. Often parents feel guilty that they are considering a cosmetic procedure for their child, but with an Otoplasty or Ear Pinning Surgery, it will provide untold benefits to their child's self esteem. Furthermore, a child's ear cartilage is less firm than an adult's ear cartilage. This makes it more pliable, and Dr. Aharonov can easily shape it into the best cosmetic result.
At the time of your consultation with Dr. Aharonov in his Beverly Hills office, he will examine the structure of the both ears and discuss the best options available for correcting your individual problems. Even if only one ear needs “pinning back,” surgery will probably be recommended on both ears to achieve the most natural, balanced appearance. Dr. Aharonov is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist, which means that he has advanced surgical training with ears, in addition to his specialty training in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. All of his Los Angeles area patients have been very happy with the results of their Otoplasty surgery.
There are two principal conditions that require Otoplasty for cosmetic reasons. These may exist in isolation or in combination. A "lop-ear deformity" refers to the absence of an ear-cartilage fold known as the antihelix, which is the smaller curved inner ridge of the ear that parallels the outer curve of the ear. This type of deformity presents as an abnormally shaped ear that tends to flop forward. The second common condition is a "cup-ear deformity," which refers to the exuberant cup-like cartilage bowl that resides near the actual ear canal that in turn makes the ear project out excessively. Surgery involves identifying the exact cosmetic problem and intervening in a targeted approach and on a timely basis.
Otoplasty or Ear Pinning Surgery
Ear pinning improves the proportion of the ears to the size and shape of the head. The procedure does not alter hearing. The goal of Otoplasty surgery is to recreate the contour of the folds of the ear, and to normalize the ear-scalp distance. There are several different methods that Dr. Aharonov can use to perform an Otoplasty, depending on your particular ear structure. An incision is made just behind the ear, in the natural skin fold where the ear is joined to the head. This Otoplasty scar will be virtually invisible, no matter what future hairstyle you choose. Any excess cartilage or skin may be removed in order to achieve the desired look. Dr. Aharonov will then shape the ear and pin it back into it's natural position with permanent sutures. In other cases, it may not be necessary to remove any skin or cartilage before shaping it and suturing the ear into the desired position. This is where Dr. Aharonov excels. As a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, he will be able to tailor the Otoplasty to your individual needs, not just give every patient the exact same surgery. Patients should not expect perfect symmetry of both ears, since this is not likely in even natural ears. However, a more balanced look can be achieved.
Before Otoplasty or Ear Pinning Surgery: Preoperative Information
After you decide to proceed with Otoplasty surgery, Dr. Aharonov will discuss the details of the procedure, and answer any questions. He will ask about your medical history and any medication that you take. Dr. Aharonov will most likely ask you to see your primary physician for a physical exam and blood tests, or your Pediatrician for your child. You should stop taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines such as Alleve, Motrin or Advil one week prior to Otoplasty surgery to minimize bleeding during surgery and bruising after your Otoplasty surgery. A list of over the counter medications and supplements to avoid will be given to you during your preoperative consultation. You should avoid alcohol or salty foods for three days prior to surgery to decrease fluid retention and swelling. You should discuss all of the medicines that you are on with Dr. Aharonov. If necessary, you may take your essential medications with a tiny sip of water in the early morning on the day of your Otoplasty surgery.
Anesthesia for an Otoplasty or Ear Pinning Surgery
Dr. Aharonov performs all Otoplasty surgeries in an AAAHC accredited outpatient surgery center in Beverly Hills. Board certified anesthesiologists, which are medical doctors, perform all of his cases. Dr. Aharonov prefers to have a physician caring for your anesthetic needs during your Otoplasty or ear pinning surgery, as their experience minimizes the potential of unpleasant postoperative side effects. For his surgical cases, Dr. Aharonov uses an extremely safe combination of iv sedation and local anesthetic, not general anesthesia for adults. This technique provides superior operating conditions combined with maximal patient safety and comfort. However, in very young children, a general anesthetic may be the safest choice. Whichever method of anesthesia is administered, you will in all likelihood awaken with very little discomfort, nausea, or anesthetic side effects. In his Los Angeles area surgery center, all of the appropriate monitoring, medication and emergency equipment are available at all times. On the day of your Otoplasty or Ear Pinning surgery, you will meet your anesthesiologist and can discuss any questions that you may have.
What to Expect After Otoplasty or Ear Pinning Surgery
Soft dressings and a cotton cast are applied to the ears, and should remain for a few days after an Otoplasty. This will secure and protect the ears in their new position. It’s common for patients to experience a certain amount of mild discomfort or throbbing, although it is minimal. Normal sleep patterns may be disrupted for a week or so for side sleepers, since you won’t be able to apply any pressure on the ear areas. Headbands might be recommended to hold the ears in the desired position up to two weeks after the surgery. One week after your Otoplasty, Dr. Aharonov will remove the sutures in his Beverly Hills office.
Initially after your Otoplasty surgery, you may feel more tired than usual. This is completely normal. There may be a small amount of bruising or swelling, which will subside within a few days. Most children can return to school in about seven days, but they must be careful while playing. Adults can return to work approximately five days after Otoplasty surgery.
The risks of an Otoplasty or Ear Pinning Surgery are minimal. There will be a thin white scar hidden in the natural crease behind the ear after healing. Due to its location, scar visibility is insignificant. However, anything unusual should be immediately reported to Dr. Aharonov.
Repair of Split Ear Lobes, or Enlarged Ear Lobes
Split earlobes are very common, and are generally due to heavy earrings, accidental tugging on the earlobes or multiple piercings. The weight of the heavy earring gradually stretches the hole which finally splits open. Alternatively, sudden accidental tugging or pulling can cause a partially stretched earlobe to tear through. This is commonly seen during hair combing or when a child pulls on their mother’s earrings. Enlarged or elongated ear lobes may also be present congenitally, or due to wearing heavy earrings. The repair of split ear lobes or enlarged ear lobes is comfortably performed under local anesthesia. There is minimal post-operative discomfort, which is easily controlled with prescribed pain medication, but most patients do not feel the need for prescription pain medicine. Patients can return to work in one day.