Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) New York City
Otoplasty is surgery that improves the shape, position and/or proportion of the ear. Patients most common concerns include prominent ears (ears that stick out or are overly large), as well as earlobes that have been deformed through piercing and gauging. Dr. Cangello also performs ear surgery to repair inherited conditions that include lop ear, cupped ear, shell ear, pixie ear and misshapen earlobes.
You may choose ear surgery if you are embarrassed by the shape, size or protrusion of your ears. Children, in particular, are often teased about their protruding ears. This can erode self-confidence and create low self-esteem. Patients with ear abnormalities often feel compelled to hide their ears using hairstyles and hats.
Am I a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
You are a good candidate for if you are unhappy with the size, shape or position of your ears. One of the most common surgeries is colloquially called “ear pinning.” In this surgery, prominent ears are reduced in size and/or sutured closer to the head.
Ideal candidates for ear pinning can be as young as 6-years-old. By this age, a child’s ear cartilage is stable enough to support the surgery. The child should also be mature enough to understand the reason for the otoplasty and to follow the post-surgical instructions. Some parents schedule ear pinning to spare their child from being teased, while others wait until their child expresses dissatisfaction with their ears before seeking surgery.
Candidates must be in good health, live in New York City (or be willing to travel), and be motivated to follow Dr. Cangello’s pre-operative and post-operative instructions. This includes wearing a compression bandage for the first two days after surgery, followed by a headband for the next few days.
You must also have realistic expectations for the surgery. Dr. Cangello’s goal is to create naturally-shaped ears that are proportional to your face and head.
The Consultation: Creating Your Plastic Surgery Plan
Your journey begins with a consultation with Dr. David Cangello in our New York City office. Dr. Cangello will discuss your medical history and the results that you want from your otoplasty. For your surgery to proceed safely, you need to be honest about your allergies, medications, personal habits, and previous surgical procedures.
Dr. Cangello will ask about your goals and the look you hope to achieve. He will conduct a physical examination, which includes taking measurements of your ears. Dr. Cangello will then describe his surgical approach
Scarring is always a concern. As much as possible, scars will be hidden behind the ear or in the natural folds of the ear. Incisions will be closed with tiny sutures and scarring should be minimal. Please ask Dr. Cangello about his surgical plan and the amount of scarring you should expect.
Dr. Cangello will answer your questions and explain how to prepare for your procedure, as well as what you can expect following your surgery.
Preparing for Otoplasty
Dr. Cangello is committed to achieving the best results possible. During your initial consultation, he will create a pre-operative plan for you to follow. This plan is designed for your unique needs, to make sure that you have the best outcome possible. Your pre-op plan may include changes in diet and other habits that impact your health. You will be advised to avoid ANY nicotine-containing products for at least two to four weeks before and after surgery.
Dr. Cangello will also give you instructions for the days before your surgery. These include stopping certain medications and supplements. You will also be told not to eat beginning at midnight on the day of your surgery.
Finally, Dr. Cangello will explain your post-operative plan. He will give you prescriptions to fill prior to surgery and ask you to find someone to drive you home following surgery.
Where Will the Surgery Be Performed?
Your otoplasty will be performed at Dr. Cangello’s New York City office. He has a fully accredited (AAASF) state-of-the-art operating room on-site. You are encouraged to ask for a tour of the operating facility when you come in for your consultation. Dr. Cangello also performs surgery at Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital (MEETH) on Manhattan’s upper east side for patients who have a preference for having surgery in an ambulatory hospital or who have a medical condition requiring this type of setting.
Types of Anesthesia
Correction of prominent ears usually takes between 90 minutes and two hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. In young children, the surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. For adults, treatment is performed using a local anesthetic with IV sedation or under local anesthesia alone.
Dr. Cangello will recommend the best type of anesthesia and give you the expected length of your surgery.
Otoplasty is not “one-size-fits-all” surgery. Protruding ears, for instance, can be caused by ears that are proportionally too large for the face or ears that stick out from the head. The surgical techniques used depend on the problem being corrected, your anatomy, and the amount of cartilage in your ear.
Surgery to fix prominent ears begins with a small incision behind the ear in the crease formed where the ear meets the scalp. Depending on your anatomy, Dr. Cangello may need to remove some cartilage to reduce the size of the ears. He will also shape the ears with sutures in order to create natural ear folds and anatomical features. As necessary he will place sutures called conchal mastoid sutures to set the ears position back closer to the scalp. Dr. Cangello will thoroughly explain his surgical plan during your consultation.
The Recovery Process
You will wake up with a large compression bandage around your head. This will help your ears mold into place and heal and prevent any disruption of the surgical setback of the ears. Your ears will be swollen and may feel achy and bruised. Dr. Cangello will prescribe pain medication to keep you comfortable. After two to three days, you will transition to wearing a headband over your ears. You will wear the headband for the rest of the week following your surgery. Stitches will be removed within the first week.
Most patients are able to return to work or school after the first week. You must avoid any activity that bends your ear for the month following surgery. For this reason, children need to be carefully supervised during activities at home and school.
You will be able to see the improvement in your ears after the first week. However, it may take up to three months for the bruising and swelling to completely disappear. Scars will fade over time and be much less visible in the year following your surgery.
Please call our New York City office at 212-644-4416 to set up a consultation and learn how you can benefit from otoplasty.