Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)
Otoplasty is a procedure performed to correct the shape of the ear flap (also called pinna or outer ear). The reason why a person goes for correcting his/her ear(s) include:
- Birth defect – where one or both the ears are not in regular shape/malformed and don’t look good to the person / parents.
- Involving in an accident or injury that changed the shape of the ear flap.
- Adjust the shape to a new look (some people want their ears to look like that of a wild cat. (Don’t be surprised).
Ear correction is not one of the most sought plastic surgeries in Chennai or India but we have dealt with cases where the ear shape had to be corrected because of birth defect or due to involvement in an accident. Though rare, there are cases where we had to replace the entire pinna with a silicone implant.
When is the best time to correct the outer ear in case of a birth defect?
There are two scenarios:
- Whether the shape of the ear is not proper but the complete ear has developed.
- Or if the ear hasn’t developed fully.
In scenario A, where the ear has completely developed but the shape needs to be adjusted, ear moulding or splinting can be done from 3rd week after birth. This is the time when the adjustments are easier to do and the changes made will remain.
In scenario B, where the ear has not developed fully, we advise the child/person to wait till he/she reaches the age of 6 years. By then, 90% of ear development is completed. Then, any changes or corrections made will remain permanent.
Why are some babies born with defective or underdeveloped ears?
In India, some people believe in a superstition which goes like this – “When the woman was pregnant and if she had any desire unfulfilled, the baby may not be born with complete ears developed.” Well, that’s a superstition for sure!
The most likely reason is genetics. Malformed or underdeveloped ears run in families. In some babies, the ears may look normal after birth for a few months and then they start growing away from the head or in an irregular way.
Ear correction procedures
- Ear moulding or splinting
- Incisionless Otoplasty
Ear moulding or splinting – After a baby is born, the cartilage of the ear remains soft for a couple of weeks and this is the best period to mould the ear to desired shape. After a couple of months, moulding may not be possible as it gets stronger.
A mould is used to shape the ear and it remains there for a few months. Parents need to be in constant touch with the doctor until the mould is removed.
Otoplasty – a surgical procedure to correct the shape of the ear or to fix a broken ear.
Read more on otoplasty by clicking the link. Otoplasty can be done anytime during a person’s lifetime, preferably when young unless he/she gets involved in an accident that deforms his/her ear(s).
Incisionless Otoplasty – This is usually performed to reshape protruding ears. The procedure is also called ‘Ear Pinning’ where in the cartilage is sort of folded to bend the cartilage. Read more about incisionless otoplasty in little detail here.
Write to us or call us, if you want to know how your ears can be shaped/reshaped and the cost of the procedure.