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Ear surgery is an umbrella term for three types of surgeries Dr. Rau performs: otoplasty, earlobe reduction, and earlobe repair. The ear or earlobe surgery you choose to have will be based on your concerns and the problem you are hoping to treat.
Otoplasty or ear pinning surgery will improve the appearance of large, protruding ears. The surgical procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the patient’s age and comfort level. It usually takes 1-3 hours depending on the complexity of the issue being treated. Dr. Rau will make an incision behind the ear and/or inside the folds of the ear to remove and reshape cartilage and skin. The ears will then be pinned back and secured with internal permanent stitches. Scar tissue will be easily concealed in the natural creases of your ear.
After otoplasty, patients can return to work within one week. A bandage is worn around the head to protect and cover the ears during the first few days of recovery and after this time, you may want to wear a hat or headband to keep your ears protected for an additional two weeks.
Earlobe reduction can repair drooping earlobes caused by continuous wear of heavy earrings or the natural aging process of the skin. Excess skin and tissue will be removed from the earlobe and the lobe will be sutured to create the desired shape. This surgical procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia and takes less than one hour.
Earlobe reduction surgery requires slightly less recovery. Patients can return to work the next day, but some prefer to wait 5-7 days. Swelling and bruising will reduce within 10 days, but you should still refrain from strenuous activity for 3 weeks to prevent damaging your newly repaired earlobe. If you wish to re-pierce your ears, please wait 3 months so that your ears are completely healed from surgery.
Anyone bothered by the appearance of misshapen or protruding ears should have the opportunity to feel more confident in their appearance. Most adults in overall good health can benefit from otoplasty or an earlobe reduction. If you have an inner ear infection or injury to your ear canal or ear tubes, please visit an ENT who can provide more comprehensive care.