What is Ear Surgery?
Ear surgery - also known as otoplasty - can improve the shape, position, or proportion of the ear. It can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth.
Ear surgery creates a natural shape, while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have profound benefits to appearance and self-esteem.
Ear surgery can treat:
Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees
Adults and teenagers who are good candidates for ear surgery are:
Healthy individuals who do not have a life threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for ear surgery
Consultation and Preparing for Surgery
During your consultation be prepared to discuss:
Your surgical goals
Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
Dr. Smith will also:
Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
Discuss your ear surgery options
Recommend a course of treatment
Discuss likely outcomes of your ear surgery and any risks or potential complications
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Dr. Smith will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Depending on the type of surgery, your procedure may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, a licensed ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.
Be sure to ask Dr. Smith questions. It's very important to understand all aspects of your ear surgery. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with Dr. Smith.
Step 1 - Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include local anesthesia combined with intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 - The incision
Correction of protruding ears uses surgical techniques to create or improve the antihelical fold (just inside the rim of the ear) and to reduce enlarged conchal cartilage (the largest and deepest concavity of the external ear).
Incisions for otoplasty are generally made on the back surface of the ear. When incisions are necessary on the front of the ear, they are made within its folds to hide them. Internal, non-removable sutures are used to create and secure the newly shaped cartilage in place.
Step 3 - Closing the incisions
External stitches close the incision. Techniques are individualized, taking care not to distort other structures and to avoid an unnatural "pinned back" appearance.
Step 4 - See the results
Ear surgery offers near immediate results in cases of protruding ears, visible once the dressings are removed. With the ear permanently positioned closer to the head, surgical scars are either hidden behind the ear or well-hidden in the natural creases of the ear.
Recovery After Surgery
Dressings will be used to support the new shape of the ear during the initial phases of healing. Once these are removed, the results of your ear surgery are immediately visible. With the ear permanently positioned closer to the head, surgical scars are either hidden behind the ear or well-hidden in the natural creases of the ear.
Discomfort immediately following ear surgery is normal and can be controlled with pain medication. There may be an itchy feeling under bandages. It is essential that bandages remain intact and are not removed for any reason. Failure to do so may result in loss of some of the correction and may require a secondary surgery.
Be sure to ask Dr. Smith specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
• Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
• What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
• Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
• When will they be removed?
• Are stitches removed? When?
• When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
• When do I return for follow-up care?
Risks and Safety
The decision to have ear surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and its risks.
The risks include:
Poor wound healing
Change in skin sensation
Possibility of revisional surgery
Allergies to tape, suture materials, glues, blood products, topical preparations, or injected agents
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It's important that you address all your questions directly with Dr. Smith.
The results of your ear surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery. The final results of your surgery will appear over the next few months.
Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following Dr. Smith’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery. It's important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Dr. Smith will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself. It's very important to follow Dr. Smith's instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.
Prices for ear surgery can vary. The cost will be based on the type of procedure required to address your specific needs. Dr. Smith does offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Cost may include:
Hospital or surgical facility costs
Prescriptions for medication
OHIP will cover the cost of otoplasty in children up to the age of 18 years. In adults, it is considered cosmetic surgery and therefore not covered.
Your satisfaction involves more than a fee. When choosing a plastic surgeon for otoplasty, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her is just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Plastic surgery involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting a Plastic Surgeon you can trust. Plastic Surgeons such as Dr. Smith, certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada meet rigorous standards:
Board certification by Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada®
Completed five years of surgical training following medical school
Pass comprehensive oral and written exams
Complete continuing medical education, including patient safety
Perform surgery in accredited hospitals and surgical facilities
Following Dr. Smith’s Plastic Surgery residency, he completed an extra year of training, completing two additional clinical Fellowships to further his expertise in the field of Plastic Surgery. Please see his biography for more details.
Do not be confused by other official sounding boards and certifications. Be sure to choose a highly trained plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
This procedural information is intended strictly for educational purposes. Only models are depicted in these procedural information pages. It is not intended to make any representations or warranties about the outcome of any procedure. It is not a substitute for a thorough, in-person consultation with Dr. Smith.