When we talk about ear surgery, it refers to the reshaping of the outer ears with respect to its proportion or position, which is known as otoplasty. The outer ear or pinna may have some deformity that may require surgical correction, or sometimes it may be necessary for correcting protruding ears. The surgery is a cosmetic procedure and improves the appearance, especially for children who have to face bullying because of their prominent ears. Although otoplasty is mostly a childhood surgery, it is applicable to people of all ages.
The outer ear or pinna has a minimal function in hearing but mostly contributes to the looks. Ill-shaped or prominent and large ears that stick out can be a cause for embarrassment and lead to psychological distress. Since the appearance of people impacts their daily life, those who suffer from the problem would do good to visit an ear specialist for otoplasty.
Causes For Prominent Ears
When an ear sticks out, it happens because of its positioning that exceeds an angle of 35 degrees, which is the maximum permissible angle for the correct ear position that should be between 20 degrees and 35 degrees. The larger angle makes it appear as if the ear is sticking out. The problem occurs randomly but can even run in families, but it does not affect hearing. Normally, five percent of the population suffers from the problem that can happen for the following reasons.
Overdevelopment or underdevelopment of the cartilage
Too much cartilage in the pinna results in overdevelopment and large ears. On the other hand, if there is a defect in the fold of the ridge of the cartilage, the outer edge of the ear sticks outward instead of pointing toward the head; it is due to underdevelopment. This can be due to a congenital defect.
Injury is also a cause for prominent ears.
The remedy is in otoplasty
To correct a defective pinna, the ENT doctor who specializes in plastic surgery will use otoplasty techniques to give proper shape to the ear either by reconstructing it or correcting the defect by replacing the pinna in extreme cases, which may be necessary if the pinna is missing.
Even if the defect is noticed during the early ages of childhood, one must wait for the ears to reach full size before having surgery. The surgery is done only after a child reaches age five - by which time the ears take complete shape.
Types of otoplasty
There are three types of surgical procedures to set right defective ears – ear augmentation, otopexy, and ear reduction.
- Ear augmentation – If the pinna is missing or it is underdeveloped, then the doctor would perform an ear augmentation surgery.
- Otopexy – If the ears are too protruding and need adjustment of the position, then it would call for otopexy.
- Ear reduction – This procedure is applicable for reducing pinna that is too large and creates the right size of ears. The surgical procedure might last for one to two hours and be done under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation.
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Mandy Bular is a freelance writer and blogger associated with many industries. She has written on various categories such as travel, lifestyle, and health.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.