Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is a popular procedure for people wishing to reduce the appearance of large or protruding ears and is typically available to anyone over the age of five. At Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery there are two main techniques that may be used to achieve the desired look during this procedure. Surgery generally begins with a small incision made along the back of the ear. One common technique involves trimming or removing pieces of cartilage, reshaping the remaining cartilage and stitching it back in order to draw the ears closer to the head. Another technique makes use of the same incision, but instead of removal of cartilage, it is folded, reshaped and stitched to create a new contour. Members of our highly trained and experienced surgical team will work closely with you to decide on the appropriate technique for you and your cosmetic needs.
The technique used during ear surgery will depend on the abnormality. First, there may be an insufficient amount of ear cartilage to support the fold of the ear, or too much cartilage where the ear canal starts. Both issues will cause the ear to protrude outward. In some cases, the ears may appear too large. Regardless of the condition, the cartilage will usually be addressed and either removed or reshaped. Then, the cartilage will be secured with sutures into a new position closer to the head. The incision is generally placed within the natural folds of the ear so scarring is not an issue.
All otoplasties are performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure in an accredited surgical facility. The entire surgery typically takes about 2 hours to complete. After surgery, patients will be sent home with their heads wrapped in a compression bandage, which will later be replaced with lighter bandaging. Initially, patients will feel discomfort if they attempt to move their ears. This will subside in a few days. Younger patients will need to be monitored so they do not touch or play with their ears during the healing process.
Ear Surgery FAQs
The results following an otoplasty procedure are long lasting. However, just like any other cosmetic procedure, aging and gravity may cause increased laxity. This could eventually affect the position of the ears. For the most part, the improvements made with this surgery are still significant.
Children between the ages of 4-6 are considered within the ideal range for this surgery. From an anatomical standpoint, the cartilage is still soft and will be easier to remold and manipulate. From a psychological standpoint, having this surgery before starting elementary school can help avoid teasing and ridicule from classmates.
Both Ear or Just One?
In the majority of cases, both ears are affected. Therefore, surgery is performed on both ears. However, there may sometimes be an abnormality in just one ear. If this is the case, surgery will be performed on the affected ear, which will be made to match the opposing ear.
"I am writing this article in praise of my Aesthetician, Chris Weber at PVPS. I recently had a small procedure done and was concerned about post surgery care and maintenance of my lid area of my eye which is very delicate. I have been going to Chris at PVPS for several years now and thoroughly have enjoyed her tips and especially the expert and thorough knowledge she expends through years of her attending the most advanced progressive symposia's and certifications in skincare. My skin always looks marvelous when I follow in her advice on skincare and many family and friends have now made PVPS their skincare meca of choice and Chris as their Aesthetician. No matter if I choose to use the skincare that she recommends after she utilizes on a facial for me or to first "test drive" the skincare products I always return to get those products because quite honestly my skin just looks and feels better! Again, I returned to Chris to follow up and heed her suggestions of what would help firm, moisturize and keep my delicate eye area looking tight and smooth. I have been following this regimen and gotten many compliments. I started out after having several different skincare specialists after moving to Jacksonville but have stayed with Chris simply because I love her amazing deep cleansing facial's and how I look and feel afterward. I expected the best at PVPS but certainly surprised that Chris has elevated my experience far beyond my own expectations, she is superior at her craft! Chris is the total package for indulgence, experience and complete relaxation!"- L.W. / Yelp / Nov 17, 2015
"I can’t say enough about all of the staff I’ve encountered at PVPS. Lynette is warm, welcoming, and just a joy to interact with! Amy is the absolute best when it comes to Botox! I’ve referred several of my friends to her and they are all more than pleased! Dr. Rumsey, Beth G., Mandee, Crystal, and Beth N. all knocked my socks off with the level of attention and detail they’ve provided me during the last few months! From consult, to day-of surgery, to post-op appointments; I know, without a doubt, that I’ve been in the best hands in Jacksonville! Very thankful to this practice!"- J.M. / Facebook / Feb 07, 2019
"I heard about Dr Sternberg from a friend that had used him for the same type of procedure I was looking to have done. He is such a talented surgeon & did a fantastic job on me, I am so happy with my results & I am only 4 weeks post op. I highly recommend him, he has wonderful bedside manner & is very good at what he does. His nurse Lisa is also fantastic as well as the rest of the staff I have come in contact with."- L.K. / Facebook / Jan 20, 2019
"Best plastic surgeon ever! - Very professional and intelligent! Was my first surgery ever and she made me feel right at home. Results are stunning! So happy I chose to go to her. Very honest and attentive. :) went in for a consultation and she went over my options without any pressure. Went back over my choice right before surgery and everything was just perfect! She's very kid friendly which is hard to find now days. So..."- O. / RealSelf / Dec 21, 2018
"Lower body lift after weight loss - Dr. Rumsey is awesome, he listened to what I wanted and gave me realistic expectations. He seemed genuinely excited to perform the surgery and make a change in my life. He and his team have great follow-up, checking in on me postoperatively and ensuring my health and well being. His calendar is booked appropriately so office visits and procedures are performed on time. I cannot say enough about how caring he is and how professional he and his staff are. From my first meeting with him to my most recent check-in I have been impressed. My results are truly transformative, I cannot believe this is my body. The scar is perfectly placed and blends in with my anatomy already, it is thin and flat with no indentions or dog ears. When I am ready to continue my journey, it will be with him."- B. / RealSelf / Dec 11, 2018
The average cost for an otoplasty will vary depending on the complexity of the surgical case. However, the national average for this surgery ranges between $3,500-$6,000. Unfortunately, in almost all cases, otoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure and therefore is not covered by insurance.