Otoplasty, sometimes also referred to as ear pinning, is a surgical technique designed to reshape the ears. Created as a way to improve overly large, poorly formed, or protruding ears, the otoplasty can make a dramatic improvement in a patient’s appearance. The invasive procedure can benefit both adults and children, correcting a variety of aesthetic problems. An otoplasty can create a natural looking ear, whether the malformation is from a birth defect or the result of injury.
* Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
The ears bring a vital symmetry to the head and facial features. The aesthetic balance and proportion they provide contributes to a pleasant overall appearance. Most people never give their ears much thought, unless they are unusual in size or shape. If the ears are too large, too small, protruding, or poorly formed, they often bring unwanted attention. This can cause a serious impact on self-esteem and confidence, especially in children. Luckily, surgical correction is available to successfully correct aesthetic issues of the ear at any age.
Dr. Philip Schoenfeld is the founder of RENU by Dr. Schoenfeld, and a leading provider of otoplasty in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. area. He is well known for his artistic eye and attention to detail. Dr. Schoenfeld focuses on conservative yet effective results, utilizing some of today’s most cutting-edge otoplasty techniques.
The Ideal Candidate for an Otoplasty
Almost anyone who is frustrated with large, misshapen, or protruding ears can benefit from the otoplasty at Renu by Dr. Schoenfeld. Dr. Schoenfeld recommends the ears be 85-90% developed before scheduling the surgical procedure; this normally occurs around five or six. Adults of any age can make an excellent otoplasty candidate, as well. It is important for adults to remember, though, that their fully developed ears have firm cartilage, therefore their ears will not have the same molding abilities that are seen in children. The ideal patient for an otoplasty will be in overall good health, understand the procedure, and have realistic expectations for their results.
The Otoplasty Consultation with Dr. Schoenfeld
An otoplasty consultation appointment will be scheduled with Dr. Schoenfeld before arranging the procedure. This is an important time for the patient to get to know the plastic surgeon, and for him to understand their desired results.
Dr. Schoenfeld will explain the available choices in ear correction and thoroughly discuss his otoplasty techniques. Next, he will perform a careful examination of the ears, and discuss the patient’s medical history. Dr. Schoenfeld will use before/after photos of his recent otoplasty patients, as well as computer imaging, to help create a visual picture of the potential results.
Once the recovery requirements and potential risks of surgery have been discussed, it will be determined if the otoplasty is the right treatment for the individual. If so, together with the patient and their family, Dr. Schoenfeld will create a personalized surgical plan. At this time, the exact cost of the otoplasty will be established, and the various payment options will be reviewed by the staff.
The Otoplasty Procedure
Dr. Schoenfeld performs his ear pinning procedures as an outpatient surgery. Depending on the technique used, most procedures will take from one to two hours to complete. Normally, a local anesthetic plus IV sedation is used. In some cases, especially for younger children, general anesthesia may be recommended.
To begin the procedure, Dr. Schoenfeld will make an incision behind the ear, or when needed, along the front crease of the ear. He will then reshape the cartilaginous framework of the ear. Permanent sutures can be placed through the cartilage to create the desired ear shape. These sutures will also bring the ears closer to the head, correcting protrusion. Excess skin can be removed at this time, and when necessary, the earlobe can be recreated. Sutures are then placed for proper healing. A soft dressing is then applied to the ears and will need to stay in place for the following several days.
Recovery After an Otoplasty
Recovery after an otoplasty will generally take from one to two weeks. Most patients are feeling well enough to return to work or school in five to seven days. Exercise and strenuous activities should wait until the ears are fully healed, about four to six weeks after the otoplasty procedure.
A surgical headband may need to be worn for about two weeks. This will ensure proper placement of the ears as they heal. Bruising and swelling are common after the otoplasty, and will slowly subside over the following week or two. Aching and tenderness are not unusual during this time. Dr. Schoenfeld will prescribe the needed pain medications for a comfortable recovery. Temporary numbness may also be experienced; this will resolve on its own as the ears continue to heal.
Potential Otoplasty Complications
The otoplasty is considered a safe and effective surgery for most patients, with little chance for complications. As with all surgical techniques, however, there is always a small risk. Problems associated with the otoplasty procedure can include infection, bleeding, scarring, asymmetry, and delayed wound healing. Patients can lower the chance for complications by choosing an experienced otoplasty surgeon, such as Dr. Schoenfeld.
Dr. Schoenfeld is one of the top cosmetic surgeons in the Washington D.C. area. He has close to 20 years of surgical experience, and has developed his own techniques for the otoplasty procedure. Double Board Certified in Otoplasty Head and Neck Surgery, and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Schoenfeld brings patients the safest and more efficient plastic surgery procedures available today.
For More Information on the Ear Surgery at Renu by Dr. Schoenfeld
To get more information on the ear surgery at Renu by Dr. Schoenfeld, contact our office at 301.652.7368. Renu by Dr. Schoenfeld is conveniently located in Chevy Chase, Maryland. We are an easy drive from Washington D.C., Alexandria, and Baltimore. If you are coming to Renu by Schoenfeld from outside of the immediate area, talk to a patient coordinator about scheduling an online consultation.
FAQs about Otoplasty
An otoplasty can be successfully performed on children as young as five or six, and can be equally beneficial for adults at any age. However, it is recommended that the ears be between 85-90% developed before undergoing the procedure.
While the ear surgery is considered a safe procedure, any cosmetic surgery has some chance for complications. Risks of the procedure include bleeding, unexpected scarring, infection, delayed wound healing, and hematoma.
Most ear surgery patients are comfortable returning to school or work just few days after their procedure.
Generally, Dr. Schoenfeld will perform his otoplasty using local anesthesia plus IV sedation. In some cases, however, general anesthesia will be recommended.
Dr. Schoenfeld meticulously places very small incisions behind or in front of the ear during the otoplasty. While these incisions do result in percent scarring, they are tiny, leaving them well hidden with in the ear’s natural creases.
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