For those unhappy with the appearance of their ears, ear surgery—or otoplasty, is a good solution, Otoplasty is an effective way to change either the shape, amount of protection, or size of the ears. Read about the procedure, recovery, insurance issues, and more.
Reasons to get ear surgery
Otoplasty is most often done to pin the ears closer to the head. Sometimes called ear pinning surgery, this type is most often done on children but can be done on adults too. Another reason to get ear surgery is to change the size (augmentation for small ears, reduction for large ears). Finally, many get ear surgery in order to correct structural abnormalities that were present at birth or developed later on due to injury.
What is an otoplasty procedure like?
First you will have a consultation to discuss expectations and to determine whether an otoplasty is right for you. Otoplasty is an outpatient procedure, and can be done on patients older than 5 (when the ears stop growing). You will likely be put under general anesthesia. Your doctor will perform the surgery, making most incisions within the creases of the ears to avoid the possibility of visible scarring. The entire procedure lasts about an hour or two, depending on the amount of work needed.
After surgery, you will have bandages covering your ears. This consists of cotton padding held in place by a compression bandage. This will usually be able to be removed the next day, after which you will be given a headband to wear to reduce swelling. About a week or two post surgery your ears will look close to their final look, however, it may take up to three months for all swelling to dissipate and for the ears to take on their final appearance.
Is otoplasty covered by insurance?
Your otoplasty may be covered, at least in part, by surgery if your ear shape is causing difficulty hearing and ear surgery would help rectify that. If it’s not, this surgery is considered cosmetic surgery and is therefore not covered by insurance.