Otoplasty St. Louis - Ear Surgery Missouri
Some people are born with prominent ears that don’t seem to fold back. Also, as we age, our ears become larger, particularly the ear lobes. This can be a source of embarrassment for many people who will try to conceal their ears by growing their hair out longer. Fortunately, there are procedures that can address each of these issues to help restore your confidence.
Dr. Cabbabe incorporates his experience with reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the face to give patients the best results possible to meet their desires. He is also an expert in minimally invasive cosmetic surgery of the face and has published on these topics.
Otoplasty for Prominent Ears that Protrude Out
This procedure entails making an incision which is hidden behind the ear to access the framework of the ear. Following this, the ears are molded into a position where they protrude less or are less prominent by using permanent sutures or cartilage scoring or combination thereof. Additional sutures are often used to pin the ears back to the scalp as needed. Occasionally, cartilage may need to be removed from the ear so it does not protrude out from the scalp so far or a wedge of skin and cartilage can reduce the height of the ear as well.
Otoplasty for Large Ear Lobes
This procedure generally entails reducing the size of the lobes. A wedge of skin and fat is removed from the ear lobes and then the lobes are reshaped and closed with stitches. Occasionally, cartilage or other portions of the ear may need to be remolded or reshaped.
Preparing for Surgery
Dr. Cabbabe will ask that you refrain from taking any aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin or any other type of blood thinner. He will also ensure that your blood pressure has been properly controlled if you have high blood pressure.
The procedure is usually done under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure can last 1-2 hours depending on if one ear or both is being repaired. Permanent sutures are used for permanent results. Cartilage is manipulated or removed as needed. Excess skin is removed as needed. Drains are generally not used.
Recovering from Surgery
Most patients are able to go home the same day. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed. Bruising and swelling may be present for one to two weeks. Dr. Cabbabe will ask that you keep ice on the surgical site to decrease this. He will also ask you to keep your head elevated to decrease swelling. You may be asked to wear a headband for one to two weeks. Sutures are removed about 7 days after surgery. There may be some numbness of the ear which improves with time.
Possible complications include bleeding after surgery or hematoma, asymmetry, irregular contours and nerve injuries. The ears could potentially relapse into their previous position. These could possibly require additional surgery.