Dr. Jeffrey Popp at Popp Cosmetic Surgery PC in Omaha gives an introduction to Otoplasty (Ear Pinning). Here, he explains the basics, various methods, how it is used, and who Otoplasty can help.
What is Otoplasty?
Dr. Jeff Popp described it as, “taking prominent ears and making them look less prominent.” In other words, if you have ears that stick out, this is the procedure that would solve your problem.
But backing up for a moment, what exactly would cause a person’s ears to stick out like that? Dr. Popp said there are two different issues that can create this problem:
- Missing Antihelical Fold – There is a crease on the edge of the ear called the “antihelical fold” and if people are missing this, the ear will stick out or fold out.
- Conchal Hypertrophy – There is an excess or overgrowth of conchal cartilage. If that’s too prominent, the whole ear will push away from the head.
“Interestingly, most people with prominent ears have both issues. Some may have more of one than the other, but when we fix ears, or do an otoplasty as it’s called, we will address both issues,” said Dr. Popp.
The typical patient is a younger child and occasionally younger adults because this is an issue people are born with rather than one that may develop over time.
“Nearly 100% of the girls I do otoplasties on wear their hair long to cover or hide their ears because they’re extremely self-conscious about it,” he said.
There are Multiple Methods for Otoplasty, Depending on the Issue
Dr. Popp said with conchal hypertrophy, you actually have to cut part of that cartilage away. There is no other way to fix it.
“With the antihelical fold, you have to create the bend that’s missing. Sometimes you can do that with sutures but that person might also need more formal surgery,” he said.
Does Otoplasty Hurt?
Your ears will be tender and there will be some achiness, but there shouldn’t be any pain.
Dr. Popp said after about three weeks you should be feeling good.
More specifically, recovery involves wearing a gauze turban to put pressure on the front and back of the ears. This comes off after only a few days.
“After that, you can expect the traditional things like bruising and swelling. The good news is though that the scars will all be behind your ears so even if the scar is bad, you will never see it,” said Dr. Popp.
It takes about six months for the scars to blend and fade but they aren’t even visible in the first place.
If you’re a side sleeper, you may have to temporarily adjust positions. Your ears could be a little tender.
Dr. Popp recommends sleeping with your head elevated upwards 30 degrees to alleviate any potential swelling issues.
“Otoplasty should be permanent. That said, if the antihelical fold procedure isn’t done with permanent stitches, then if someone got hit in their ear hard enough, the stitches could break and would have to be redone. But assuming that doesn’t happen, it should stay forever,” Dr. Popp said.
And that’s good news because prominent ears can be psychologically problematic. It isn’t something that’s easy to hide. Having this issue addressed can make a world of difference to the kids who have it done.
For Otoplasty services near Omaha, Nebraska, call Dr. Popp at (402) 391-4558 today!