Otoplasty, otherwise referred to as corrective ear surgery or ear pinning, is a cosmetic procedure performed by Mr. Stephen Salerno in Melbourne, VIC, that’s designed to move a person’s ears closer to their head to lessen the extent to which they stick out. If you have ears that protrude too far from your head, you probably already understand the primary benefit of this procedure, which is to improve your appearance, but there are other benefits as well.
What Are the Benefits of Ear Pinning?
Their improved appearance is the primary reason given by patients who undergo otoplasty for protruding ears. Perhaps they have been victims of merciless teasing because their ears stuck out, or maybe they felt their appearance was not as attractive because their ears didn’t fit as tightly against their head as they wished. Either way, they elect to get otoplasty to move their ears closer to their head for a more balanced facial appearance.
For most people, the ears are positioned at angles of between 25° and 35° from the head. If the angle between the ears and the head exceeds 35°, they can appear to stick out, which can be cause for bullying and other forms of teasing, especially for children. At one point, the only solution for ears that stick out was to grow your hair long enough to hide them. The emergence of otoplasty procedures, though, has provided alternative permanent solutions.
When children get teased for a feature of their body they can’t control, like ears that stick out, their confidence and self-esteem can suffer. It can make it difficult for children to fit in with their peers, even if they don’t get teased because they feel like they look different from their friends. Children who are self-conscious of their ears often become adults who are self-conscious of their ears, but otoplasty can help people of all ages regain their confidence.
As previously mentioned, other solutions for protruding ears are mostly focused on hiding them as much as possible. Other temporary solutions involve tape or other methods that are designed to force the ears closer to the head and keep them there. However, these attempts provide minimal results, if any at all, and they definitely are not permanent. You will have to continue to use these devices whenever you want your ears pinned back, which takes time and effort.
Otoplasty can offer permanent results for protruding ears. Once your procedure is over, your ears may no longer stick out. The structure of your ears is changed during the procedure, so the underlying reason for the protrusion is addressed rather than just treating the protrusion itself. You may not have to worry about tape or ear cuffs coming loose while you’re out in public and causing your ears to pop back out. You can simply get on with your life.
While you’ll have to wait to see the results of your otoplasty until your bandages are removed following the procedure, the results of this surgery may be immediate. You don’t have to get multiple treatments or wait until the swelling subsides to notice a major difference in the way your ears appear against your head. Your ears may appear to be nearly flat against the sides of your head once the procedure is complete and your bandages are removed.
The ear pinning procedure is very minimal in nature, which means it’s also extremely safe. It’s conducted on an outpatient basis, with either local or general anesthesia, depending on the patient’s needs. Children are typically given general anesthesia, while adults can often tolerate the procedure under a local anesthetic. Either way, patients can usually leave the clinic the same day and begin their minimal recovery period, which often involves avoiding vigorous activity for a couple of weeks.
Whether performed on an adult or a child, the ear pinning procedure involves Mr. Salerno making an incision behind the fold of the ear, which means it may not show at all once it fully heals. The cartilage in or behind the ear will be removed and repositioned so that the ear lies closer to the head. At the same time, other issues with the ears may also be addressed, such as asymmetry.
Mr. Salerno will ensure both ears are equal in size, location, and shape to improve the overall balance of the facial features. He will take measurements throughout the surgery to verify that the ears will be symmetrical in all aspects. This is a critical component of otoplasty, even if you’re just trying to resolve the issue of protruding ears. Once they’re set back against your head, they still need to be balanced to improve your appearance.
The otoplasty procedure itself will only take a couple of hours; however, if you’re having other work done on your ears besides pinning, you could be under anesthesia for a longer amount of time. You will need to have someone available to drive you home following your surgery, as you should not drive or operate heavy machinery after anesthesia. During your consultation, we’ll provide a more accurate time frame for how long your procedure is expected to take.
Depending on the underlying cause of your ear protrusion, you may be a candidate for incisionless otoplasty, which means Mr. Solerno will not make an incision behind your ear to reposition the cartilage. Instead, a needle is inserted into the cartilage to make it more flexible. Then, sutures are placed to reposition the ears closer to the head. Not every case is suitable for an incisionless otoplasty, particularly if some cartilage has to be removed to restructure the ear.
There is very little downtime from this procedure, as it is not extremely invasive. You’ll be expected to wear a bandage around your head and ears for a few days, but it won’t interfere with your everyday activities. While vigorous exercise is discouraged for a couple of weeks, you can return to work or school as tolerated. Once your bandage is removed, you will continue to wear a headband to protect your ears and the sutures until they’re fully healed.
Children usually have to be at least five years old to get an otoplasty procedure because, until this point, their ears are still developing. On rare occasions, it’s possible to have a child as young as three years old undergo a procedure, but this would only be in cases of severe deformity. There is no maximum age for this procedure, and adults often decide to have their ears pinned to provide more symmetry to their facial features.
As with all medical procedures, you should be in good overall health to tolerate the anesthesia and to aid in recovery. At our consultation with you, we will review your medical history to determine whether you’re healthy enough to undergo an otoplasty procedure. Additionally, we’ll ask you about your goals and expectations, since both should be reasonable with regard to the outcome of the procedure. We’ll discuss the probable results with you before detailing our treatment plan for your case.
Reasons for Otoplasty
This is the top reason why patients consider otoplasty because protruding ears are often a hindrance to a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Many people decide to undergo this procedure themselves, but parents often elect to have this procedure done on their children to reduce the teasing and bullying that can happen to kids whose ears stick out abnormally. Being proactive about a child’s appearance can help them avoid years of unnecessary teasing once they’re old enough to go to school.
Even if your ears don’t aren’t actually too large, they may appear to be larger than normal when compared with your other facial features. It’s also possible that one ear is positioned lower than the other, which gives an asymmetrical look to your face. Even if you aren’t teased about large ears or your asymmetrical look, you may not be happy with the way your ears affect your overall appearance. Adults often choose to undergo otoplasty to correct these issues.
Previous injuries and surgical repairs are other reasons for ear deformities that can be corrected by an otoplasty procedure. Sometimes, if an injury is critical, the surgical procedure necessary to repair the damage done to the ear is not performed with appearance in mind. It’s performed to save the ear or to prevent further damage. An otoplasty procedure can correct previous surgeries to improve your appearance, as long as enough time has passed for the first surgery to have fully healed.
Athletes often suffer injuries to their ears, especially if they’re boxers or martial artists, and take many blows to the head. Ears that have a “cauliflower” appearance can often be corrected through an otoplasty procedure by repositioning the cartilage that has been misplaced as the result of the injury. To determine if an otoplasty procedure could be beneficial to you to correct an injured ear, a consultation with, and examination by Mr. Salerno is necessary.
You should know that even if just one ear has been affected by an injury, both ears will probably be included in the otoplasty procedure. This is because we want to achieve symmetry and balance across your facial features. Most patients can benefit from undergoing the surgery on both ears to improve their overall appearance.
Is Otoplasty Worth It?
Ear pinning procedures have a high rate of satisfaction, especially since the surgery can improve a person’s appearance immediately. If you or your child has been the victim of teasing or bullying because of your ears, this procedure can be a way to end that torment. For children, this procedure could mean the difference between enjoying school and social situations and absolutely dreading them. For adults, it could mean a more confident, more marketable appearance for employment opportunities.
It’s still important to have realistic expectations before you undergo any type of cosmetic procedure. Otoplasty can improve your quality of life, particularly if your ears have been bothering you since childhood or if your child is constantly getting bullied or teased because of them. However, no two procedures are ever the same, and your outcome may not be identical to someone else’s. For this reason, a consultation and examination are necessary to help you make the best decision possible.
If you believe you or your child could benefit from otoplasty, the next step is to schedule a consultation with Mr. Solerno in Melbourne, VIC. Contact our office today to book your first appointment and discover how we can help you regain your confidence and restore your self-esteem.