Cosmetic Ear Surgery – Otoplasty

Posted March 08, 2014 in Ear Shaping (Otoplasty), Home

Plastic surgery of the ear includes the correction of prominent ears (Otoplasty), lop ears and injured ears including torn earlobes and other piercing related problems.

Normal Ear Anatomy

Normal Ear Anatomy

The Normal Ear

The Normal Ear shape is very complicated. The complex folds in the adult ear are the result of the fusion and folding of six separate swellings comprised of skin and cartilage. The last step in development is the formation of the anti-helical fold, which folds the edge of the ear backward, closer to the head. If this folding stops prematurely, the ears are left sticking out.

Congenital Ear Deformities

The correction of Prominent Ears is the congenital ear deformity most often corrected with plastic surgery. The most common cause is incomplete folding, but an enlarged “bell” (concha) can also contribute, especially if it is rotated forward. Other congenital deformities include Lop Ear, when the top of the ear is folded over or cupped, and Spock Ear, which looks like the famous Star Trek character’s ear.

Otoplasty

Otoplasty literally means ear changing. The most common Otoplasty is the correction of prominent ears. During the procedure, and incision is made behind the ear, the supporting cartilage is reshaped, and the incision is carefully closed, hidden by the now tucked in ear.

Otoplasty Before and After Pictures

Otoplasty is used to reduce the appearance of prominent ears, especially when they stick out.

Otoplasty is used to reduce the appearance of prominent ears, especially when they stick out.

Other Cosmetic Ear Surgeries

Another common ear surgery is to repair a torn or stretched out ear lobe. An ear piercing can become elongated over time, and if too big, the piercing can allow the back of the earring to fall through. Sometimes, the piercing is purposefully stretched out to allow a gauge to be worn (Ear Scapelling). Without the gauge, the earlobe can look like a soft piece of pasta. Other times, the earring is traumatically pulled through the lobe, cutting the earlobe in half.

Earlobe Repair was performed to close a large hole caused by Ear Scapelling. The gauge was removed, the opening closed and later repierced. Thanks to RR for posting her photos and nice review on Yelp.

Earlobe Repair was performed to close a large hole caused by Ear Scapelling. The gauge was removed, the opening closed and later repierced. Thanks to RR for posting her photos and nice review on Yelp.

Whatever the cause, the earlobe can be repaired. The sides of the piercing are meticulously aligned with small stitches, and the area is usually healed in a week. Often, six weeks are allowed to pass before a new, smaller piercing is made.

Earlobe Repair is used to restore a torn or elongated ear piercing.

Earlobe Repair is used to restore a torn or elongated ear piercing.

Cauliflower Ears

Another acquired ear deformity is the Cauliflower Ear. A Cauliflower Ear is most commonly associated with boxers, any blunt trauma to the pinna, the outer ear, can cause bleeding under the skin. If left undrained, the blood becomes hard and organized. Multiple episodes can cause multiple lumps under the skin, causing a topography that looks a bit like cauliflower.

The world's smallest Cauliflower Ear. This bump was caused by a piercing, but even blunt trauma can cause a Cauliflower Ear if not treated promptly.

The world’s smallest Cauliflower Ear. This bump was caused by a piercing, but even blunt trauma can cause a Cauliflower Ear if not treated promptly.

Otoplasty Consultation

If you are considering Cosmetic Ear Surgery give us a call at (925) 943-6353. I can review the problem, and explain the options. Each ear is different, so an in-office consultation is the best way to find out what can be done in your specific case. My Plastic Surgery Office is located in the San Francisco East Bay Area city of Walnut Creek, California.