Cosmetic ear surgery (otoplasty) is perhaps one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed on children. It corrects a deformity or an injury to the shape of the ear. In most cases, this procedure is performed to address ears that are too large, are of two noticeably different sizes, or are pointed at the top ("elf ears"). Children may feel particularly self-conscious about their ears, particularly if they have been called names. In most cases, ear cosmetic surgery can be performed once the ears have stopped growing, which is generally by approximately age 5 or 6.
Dr. Paul Pin sees many adult and child patients looking to improve the shape or size of their ears. He can use a variety of techniques, depending upon the nature of the problem. In cases in which the ears stick out too far from the head, he can remove cartilage from behind the ears and pin them more closely to the head. Likewise, the top of pointed ears can be rounded, and overly large earlobes can be reduced in size.
If the face is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically, the ears should take up the horizontal middle third of the face (of approximately the same length as the nose), and the outer vertical third on either side of the face. Below are some examples of the types of ear surgery that can be performed on adults and children.
Young Female Patients with Prominent Ears
In these cases, we see two girls who felt that their ears were too prominent. Both of these girls had their ears pinned more closely to their heads so as to be less noticeable, even when they wore their hair back, as seen in the After images. The portrait views best show the changes in the prominence of the ears in both cases, following surgery. As both girls still do not quite have their adult facial proportions, the ears are shaped in such a way to balance out the rest of the growing face.
This case shows a procedure similar to the previous cases, but performed on an adult. Here, the shape and size of the ears are more in keeping with adult facial proportions.
This case is unusual because the two ears are different sizes. Here, only the right ear was corrected, because the left ear was of proper proportion for the rest of the face.
Finally, this case is an example of how otoplasty can correct the shape and size of male ears. Although male ears are typically larger than female ears, the proper facial proportions for the After photo remain unchanged.
While not quite as popular overall as other facial surgical procedures, an otoplasty procedure can tremendously improve the balance of the facial features. This can be particularly important for children and teens, who may be self-conscious about the appearance of their ears. To find out if you are a good candidate for cosmetic ear surgery, contact our practice today.