Otoplasty is an operation that is done to correct ears that are considered to prominent. It is most commonly done to set the ears back closer to the side of the head. The most common deformity is the lack of a normal anti helix , which is the curve in the lateral part of the external ear.
This operation can be done on children and adults. It is usually covered by OHIP if you are under 16 years of age, but is considered cosmetic in adults.
Is this operation right for you?
Good health and realistic expectations are important before proceeding with any surgery including Otoplasty.
In children the operation is usually done just before starting school full time. This allows it to be done when the child has an understanding of what is being done and can be involved in the process. There can be dressings, after the surgery, which need to be left in place and this can be very difficult if the child is not in agreement with having the procedure done. Parents and children often want the surgery done to avoid having the child being singled out because of the difference in appearance.
Photos will be taken pre operatively and questions will be asked about the reasons for the surgery, any hearing impairment, speech development or recurrent ear infections. Expectations will also be reviewed. Physical examination of the ears will be carried out. The patient (adult or child) will also have a general examination of the head and neck, nose and oral cavity during the visit. A general questionnaire will also be completed to determine overall health and candidacy for surgery.
Otoplasty can be done with local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. The type of anesthetic will be discussed at the time of the consultation. The risk and any costs of for the procedure will also be outlined in the consultation.
In most cases this can now be done with an incisionless, or percutaneous, technique. There is often less pain post operatively, with no visible scar and no post op dressings or headband required. The technique chosen for the surgery will be discussed at the time of consultation and will depend in part on the deformity that has to be addressed.