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Otoplasty Techniques to Correct Ears That Stick Out

Otoplasty Techniques to Correct Ears That Stick Out

Your ears frame your face, so if you have ears that stick out (also known as protruding ears), you may not feel comfortable or happy with the appearance this projects. Fortunately, otoplasty techniques performed by experienced board certified plastic surgeons can help correct protruding ears, giving you the facial profile you’ve always wanted.

What Is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty, also known as ear surgery or ear pinning, is a plastic surgery procedure that can correct protruding or misshapen ears, usually involving the posterior cartilage and anterior surface (anterior perichondrium) of the ear. It involves reshaping the conchal cartilage and repositioning the ears closer to the head to achieve a more natural and aesthetic appearance.

Otoplasty can address a variety of concerns, including projecting ears, asymmetry, and deformities resulting from congenital factors or injury. Most surgical otoplasty patients seek reconstructive surgery to correct ears that stick out, or protruding ears.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?

Good candidates for otoplasty are those who have been bothered by the appearance of their ears for some time or have past medical conditions. Alternatively, some patients are victims of a recent injury or birth defect.

Quality candidates generally have good overall physical health and realistic expectations about the outcomes of the procedure. Otoplasty can be performed on both children and adults, although the timing may vary depending on the circumstances of the surgery. You can ask your surgeon any question regarding otoplasty before and after expectations.

Otoplasty Surgical Technique

It’s best if otoplasty patients have a good medical history, are non-smokers, aren’t using certain herbal supplements or anti inflammatory drugs, and do not show any type of allergic reaction to the necessary general or local anesthesia or required post-surgery antibiotics.

Why Do Some People’s Ears Stick Out?

Also known as ear protrusion, ears that stick out can result from various factors. In many cases, it is due to the development of stiff cartilage within the ear, which may not fold or bend as desired, causing the ears to stick out.

Genetics can play a significant role in determining ear shape and position, and prominent ears may run in families for some people. Additionally, there is the possibility of trauma or injury to the ears, which can contribute to having an asymmetrical or prominent ear or ears.

What Can Be Done for Ears That Stick Out?

Otoplasty offers a solution for individuals who want to address ears that stick out or have sharp edges. By reshaping the cartilage and repositioning the ears closer to the head, otoplasty can create the more balanced and proportionate appearance that many patients are after. Two common techniques used in otoplasty are the Mustardé technique and the Furnas technique.

The Mustardé Technique

The otoplasty Mustardé technique, named after French surgeon Paul Mustardé, is a widely used method for correcting ear protrusion. This technique involves creating an incision behind the ear and selectively removing or scoring the cartilage which has good natural elasticity to reshape it. A strip of skin is typically also removed.

Simple mattress sutures are then used to hold the cartilage in its new position, allowing the ears to lie flatter against the head in a natural position. Mustardé technique otoplasty offers versatility and can be tailored to address various aspects of ear protrusion.

The Furnas Technique

The Furnas otoplasty surgical technique is another effective approach to otoplasty. This technique focuses on connecting the mastoid fascia and the conchal cartilage with sutures. This pulls the upper third of the ears toward the head. Sometimes, the two plast reconstr surg techniques (Mustardé and Furnas) will be combined as well.

Which Technique Of Otoplasty Is Right for You?

The choice of otoplasty technique depends on various factors, including the specific concerns of the patient and the expertise of the surgeon. During the consultation process, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your ear anatomy, discuss your expectations, and recommend the most suitable technique for you.

Both the Mustardé and Furnas techniques offer effective solutions for correcting ear protrusion. Or, in some cases, other techniques such as wedge excision, anti helix sutures, or earlobe reduction may be needed for protrusion and aesthetic correction.

Preparing for Otoplasty Surgery

Preparing for otoplasty surgery involves several steps to ensure a safe and successful outcome. Your plastic surgeon will provide detailed pre-operative instructions, which may include:

Techniques Of Otoplasty1. Medical Evaluation

Before undergoing surgery, you’ll need to undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation to assess your overall health and identify any potential risk factors.

Some additional tests may be required, but in most cases, patients are cleared for surgery.

2. Discussion of Goals

It’s important to communicate your goals and expectations with your surgeon during the consultation process. This will help ensure that the surgical plan aligns with your desired outcome.

3. Understanding the Procedure

Take the time to educate yourself about your particular otoplasty procedure, including the techniques involved, potential risks and complications, and the expected healing process.

4. Follow Pre-operative Guidelines

Your surgeon may provide specific guidelines to follow in the days leading up to surgery, such as avoiding certain medications, changing your diet, or stopping smoking, which can decrease blood flow and slow healing.

Otoplasty FAQs

How long does it take for ears to settle after otoplasty?

Occasionally ear correction surgery may lead to ear cartilage inflammation, skin blood clotting, and temporary stiffness, which will require months for flexibility to return.  This is not the norm but the worst case scenario.

Do Otoplasty scars go away?

Surgery behind the ears offers the advantage of concealing otoplasty scars due to the ear’s shape and position. Typically, these scars fade with age.

How long do you wear a headband after otoplasty?

For 14 days, wear a chinstrap or otoplasty headband dressing all day to maintain ear position. Then, wear a clean headband at night for 3-6 weeks. You can shampoo hair after removing the dressing post-surgery.


Book a Consultation Appointment with Dr. Smita

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Smita Ramanadham specializes in body procedures such as liposuction and breast augmentation as well as face and neck surgery options like blepharoplasty, face lifts, and otoplasty.

Dr. Smita has helped many adults and children who have protruding ears by using the latest and most reliable otoplasty surgical techniques. Otoplasty is a simple plastic surgery technique that can drastically change your appearance while still looking very natural.

The procedure is relatively quick and straightforward, the otoplasty recovery goes smoothly for nearly all patients, and the vast majority of people are extremely happy with their results.

You can find out more about otoplasty techniques and your options for surgery by calling our office today to schedule a personal consultation appointment with Dr. Smita.


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