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.
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.
The otoplasty surgery can be done once the ears have reached full, adult size. This normally occurs by age 5 or 6.
Dear Dr. Swartout. Thank you so much for all of your help, compassion, patience, and expertise! We are so grateful!
Why choose Dr. Swartout
- Fellowship trained sub-specialist in Facial Plastic surgery who attended college at Harvard University.
- Attended medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
- Interned in general surgery at New York University, followed by a specialty residency in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck surgery at New York University.
- Completed a fellowship in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he worked with Dr. Dean Toriumi.
- A member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery and the American Rhinologic Society.
- Teaches nasal surgery to residents at Harbor UCLA both to contribute to the education of future doctors and to give back to an underserved community.
- Special interests include the development of rhinoplasty techniques to create long lasting, favorable nasal shape and good nasal breathing.