When the ears are large, protruding (lop ears), or asymmetric, it can distract from the overall appearance of the face. In school aged children it can also lead to embarrassment and significant ridicule by peers. There are minimally invasive otoplasty techniques available to improve the contours of the ear using sutures (stitches) buried under the skin. These permanent stitches create long lasting improvement in shape and symmetry.
My son has protruding ears and I took him to a surgeon that proposed shaving the cartilage to reshape the ears. Do you use this technique?
Some surgeons use the shaving technique when performing otoplasty and can get excellent results, but I believe there is a risk of creating visible step-offs as the edges of the shaved or incised cartilage protrudes into the skin. I prefer to bend the cartilage with permanent sutures (stitches) buried under the skin. I believe this otoplasty technique can more safely create a natural contour.
What is the appropriate age for getting the ears corrected?
The otoplasty surgery can be done once the ears have reached full, adult size. This normally occurs by age 5 or 6.
I can't say enough good things about Dr. Swartout. Upon meeting with him the first time he quickly and easily earned my trust and confidence. He took a lot of time to explain the procedure he would be performing and what I could expect in regard to the healing process. I appreciated his patience and the time he spent with me to make sure I understood the procedure. Most notably is Dr. Swartout's ethic of care and concern for me as a patient. He stayed after the surgery to check in on me, he responded to my phone calls personally and promptly, and rather than making me schedule additional follow-up appointments with him at his office, he made arrangements to meet me at my appointments at my primary surgeon's office. He did this multiple times during the initial weeks after my surgery. Dr. Swartout is great!