Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)
Otoplasty (ear surgery) is the only cosmetic surgery procedure performed on young children. Overly large, protruding, ears can make children uneasy when they socialize and begin school, and cause them to become self-conscious about appearance. In addition, adults may also undergo corrective ear repositioning. More adult men than women have ear surgery, as men typically wear their hair shorter and cannot hide protruding ears with a hairstyle, but many women also have this procedure when nature and genetics have given them ears that do not lay flat against the head.
Ear surgery can be performed at any age, provided the ears have reached their full growth, which usually occurs by approximately six years of age. Many parents arrange this surgery for children who have protruding ears, as an otoplasty can make their youthful years free from embarrassment or teasing from other children.
If you are considering otoplasty for your child or yourself, it is crucial to find a surgeon you can trust. Dr. Christopher C. Chang ranks among the most respected plastic surgeons in Washington DC. He has extensive training and impressive credentials from Harvard, NYU School of Medicine, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and other institutions. Dr. Chang is not only highly skilled but also warm and friendly in his bedside manner. He has particular care and compassion for young children, has training in pediatric craniofacial surgery and is a father of three. His patients trust him as a surgeon and recognize his ability to comfort and care for them.
What Does an Otoplasty Correct?
Ear reshaping surgery is a cosmetic procedure performed to improve the shape, size, or position of the ears. It is used to correct aesthetic abnormalities of the ears, whether they are congenital, caused by injury to the ears, or develop with age. Otoplasty is designed to correct:
Ear reshaping surgery is a cosmetic procedure performed to improve the shape, size, or position of the ears. It is used to adjust aesthetic abnormalities of the ears, whether they are congenital, caused by injury to the ears, or develop with age. Otoplasty is designed to correct:
- Ears protruding from the head
- Overly large ears
- “Lop ears” (ears that are folded down and forward)
- Disproportionately large earlobes
- “Shell ear” (when sections are missing in the ear’s outer rim)
How is otoplasty performed?
When you come to Dr. Chang for treatment, he will tailor an otoplasty surgery specifically for you, including the type of anesthesia used in the procedure. Older children and adults may be comfortable with local anesthesia and sedation, whereas younger children may need general anesthesia to sleep comfortably through the procedure.
Otoplasty is an outpatient surgery that generally takes a few hours to complete. Incisions are typically made on the backside of the ear where they will not be visible. If incisions are needed in the front of the ear, Dr. Chang places them strategically in the ear creases for minimal visibility. The ear cartilage is reshaped and sutures are used to hold the new shape in place.
Ear surgery in Washington, D.C.
Ear surgery can improve the aesthetic appearance of the ears and increase self-confidence in both children and adults. For young children with large, protruding ears, otoplasty make life ahead far more pleasant – free from unkind teasing or remarks that can damage self-esteem. Additionally, many children in early childhood do not remember their surgical experience. For men and women alike, the size, shape, and position of the ears can have a significant impact on overall facial appearance. If you or your child needs ear surgery, call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Christopher C. Chang.
Why should I choose Dr. Chang for my otoplasty?
Dr. Christopher Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is well-known throughout DC and Maryland for his artistry and excellent surgical results. A graduate of Harvard and NYU’s School of Medicine, Dr. Chang went on to study at Yale and attend a prestigious craniofacial fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Hospital.
Dr. Chang and his highly skilled staff create a warm and welcoming boutique-like setting for discerning patients around Maryland, DC, and beyond. Dr. Chang is a perfectionist and will carefully plan your procedure to ensure superior results.
Is otoplasty right for my child?
If you or your child have abnormal ears that cause a lack of self-confidence or lead to teasing or bullying of your child, otoplasty can be important. Otoplasty can be performed after the ears have finished growing, or at about six years old.
What is recovery like from otoplasty?
You or your child will be able to return home that same day, after the anesthesia has worn off. Rest or sleep with the head elevated, and on your back. You do not want to place any pressure on the newly-reshaped ear structure or incisions.
Both bandages for wound care and compression bandages will be placed over the ears to keep them protected. The bandages should remain in place until removed by Dr. Chang during your follow-up appointment, at which time the stitches are removed. It is recommended to not wear any glasses or earrings for three weeks after surgery to allow the ears to heal properly.
For approximately six months after your otoplasty, you should avoid tanning and make sure to apply sunblock. During those six months, you may also be required to wear an elastic ear band at night.
What are the risks of otoplasty?
Otoplasty is an extremely safe surgical procedure, but as with any surgery, there are some risks.
- Infection of the skin or cartilage
- Permanent or temporary numbness
- Bleeding or hematoma
- Scar tissue formation
Any surgical procedure should be performed under the most stringent health and safety protocols, and by a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a reputation for achieving superior results.
What is the cost of otoplasty?
Some ear corrections require more, particularly if the patient has a misshapen ear structure. In general, the cost ranges from about $5,000 to $9,000, based upon the extent of the surgical corrections needed.
Can I wash my hair after ear reshaping surgery?
You will be unable to shower or get your head wet during the early stages of recovery, about a week following your surgery. You may shower and gently cleanse your hair after that week, but must avoid swimming or submerging your ears in pools or hot tubs for at least a few weeks.
What occurs during otoplasty?
Each ear reshaping surgery is a custom procedure. The incisions are in the cartilage at the back of the ear, and once healed, are invisible to others. The cartilage will be reshaped, with some removed, so the ears lie flatter against the skull. The surgery is typically performed under intravenous sedation for a faster recovery.
"I have never felt so confident. Dr. Chang completely changed how I saw myself in the mirror. I was terribly self conscious of my nose from my youth and finally decided to go through with the surgery. Not only was it inexpensive compared to the other three doctors I contacted, the before and after pictures of patients were also much better looking than the others! The whole process of surgery and recovery was quick and pretty much painless. I would definitely recommend him to anyone wanting cosmetic surgery. It really made me a happier person." - Catherine M.
"My son was in a terrible accident with most of the bones in his face and skull broken... I don't know what I would have done without Dr Chang!! My son is fully recovered and back to his old self again. I love Dr Chang, he will be in my prayers for the rest of my life. Thank you!" - Elizabeth A.
"I cannot say enough about my surgery with Dr. Chang! I had full facial Rejuvenation including a facelift brow lift and upper eyelids done 4 months ago. I also had a chemical peel to my lower eyelids and mouth. They was barely any pain and I was back to work the next week! I am so thrilled and my friends are so impressed. I cannot say enough about my experience! He is both caring and an amazing surgeon! Thank you so much!" - Cathy W.
The entire experience and outcome was everything I hoped for and I cannot thank Dr. Chang enough! He is a true pro and I recommend 100% without reservation!" - Ashley R.
"I went to Dr. Chang to correct the damage done to my breasts from pregnancy and breastfeeding. He went above and beyond to make me comfortable and to explain exactly what the procedures (lift + implants) would entail. He was extremely responsive and truly understood the look that I was trying to achieve - full, natural for my frame, and with minimal scarring. I'm only two days out from surgery and I'm already loving my results. I am so glad that I chose Dr. Chang to restore my chest to its pre-baby appearance. I actually think they are going to be better than they ever were before I had kids!" - Emily L.