While they are not typically the first noticed facial features, the ears are a prominent feature that provide balance to the entire face. Double board certified in plastic surgery and otolaryngology, Dr. Fernando Burstein performs cosmetic and reconstructive otoplasty on patients of all ages to address aesthetics and function of the ears. Ear surgery can resolve issues such as a missing fold in cartilage, protruding ears, or congenital defects. To help patients understand more about otoplasty, he answers several frequently asked questions on his surgical techniques.
Q.) Can otoplasty affect my ability to hear?
A.) Otoplasty addresses the ears but does not directly affect the internal structures that control hearing. It cannot improve hearing but choosing a board certified and experienced plastic surgeon will minimize complications and risks. With extensive knowledge and training of the head and neck, I understand function is typically a higher concern than appearance and therefore, maintaining function and maximizing patient safety is my priority.
Q.) Can otoplasty fix ears that stick out too far?
A.) Protruding or prominent ears are a common complaint for otoplasty patients. In fact, younger patients often express being teased and embarrassed by their protruding ears. Usually, this prominence is caused by the lack of a fold within the cartilage of the ear. During cosmetic otoplasty, I construct a fold in the cartilage to help the ears lie flat.
Q.) Can ear surgery correct the appearance of cauliflower ear or trauma?
A.) Yes, I perform reconstructive ear surgery for patients with congenital defects (those present at birth) as well as conditions like cauliflower ear caused by trauma. However, surgery may be postponed in cases of cauliflower ear if immediate attention is sought because this condition is the result of gradual fluid buildup within the ear from being struck repeatedly in the ear (common among boxers and wrestlers). However, if fluid collects, the internal fluid can harden and affect ear cartilage.
Q.) What’s the biggest challenge you face during cosmetic or reconstructive surgery of the ears?
A.) Unlike any other facial plastic surgery procedure, it’s difficult to see both ears simultaneously during surgery. This type of procedure requires an expert eye as well as extensive knowledge of the ear’s structure to ensure the results of ear surgery is symmetrical.
If you’re interested in otoplasty or have a question on any other procedure that Dr. Burstein performs, contact our office today. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery updates and news.