Many people are familiar with the various procedures that can be performed to subtly contour and rejuvenate the features of the face. From reconstructive rhinoplasty (nose surgery) that can correct breathing problems to cosmetic facelifts that can help to alleviate the effects of aging, facial plastic surgery procedures have become a familiar part of our everyday lives. However, there is one area that often goes unnoticed and ignored: the ears. Few realize that ear surgery, or otoplasty, can be used to correct congenital defects that may affect the appearance and function of the ear.
Patients often seek cosmetic ear surgery to improve the appearance of protruding ears which can cause psychological implications such as embarrassment or diminished self-confidence. Between the third and sixth months of fetal development, the cartilage that forms the outer ears undergoes a series of folds as it grows. These folds are what give the ear its characteristic appearance. However, in some cases, this process is interrupted, resulting in ears that project prominently from the sides of the face. Cosmetic otoplasty can often create a more streamlined appearance to the ear and a more balanced and proportionate facial appearance by carefully scoring the cartilage, causing it to bend, and thereby recreating the missing fold. This procedure is generally carried out on children between the ages of five and seven years, when the ear is nearly of adult size and the cartilage is of adequate thickness to tolerate scoring and hold sutures. While it is optimal to perform the procedure as early as possible, to avoid many of the psychological and social difficulties that may occur, the procedure can actually be performed on patients of any age.
Over the course of several hundred cosmetic otoplasty procedures, I have developed a surgical technique that allows me to increase the antihelical fold just inside the rim of the ear while simultaneously reducing the cartilage that defines the largest concavity of the external ear, all with minimal complications or need for revision. The incisions are made behind the flap of the ear, so that, with the ear repositioned closer to the head, any surgical scars are well hidden. Ultimately this technique in cosmetic otoplasty results in an ear that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
If you are interested in learning more about a plastic surgery procedure I perform, please contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, today. Additionally, many reconstructive procedures may be covered by insurance, and Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care Credit®, in order to assist you. Also be sure to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.