Prominent ears can be a source of great distress for individuals of all ages. For children, disproportionately large ears can lower their self-esteem and make them a target for bullies, while adults may go to great lengths to hide their ears out of embarrassment. In these cases, otoplasty can be an ideal solution. This specialized procedure involves improving the appearance of large, protruding ears, so patients of all ages can enjoy a symmetrical and attractive overall appearance.
An overview of the otoplasty procedure
To begin your otoplasty, Dr. Ridgway will administer anesthesia to ensure your total comfort throughout surgery. For our adult and teen patients, we commonly use local anesthesia with a sedative. Our younger patients, however, typically require general anesthesia to ensure their safety.
For your actual procedure, Dr. Ridgway will make a small incision behind each ear, through which he will remove excess skin. Depending on your needs, he may then sculpt or remove some cartilage to create a smaller and natural-looking ear structure. From there, he will use permanent sutures to position your ears so they are closer to your head, before expertly closing the incisions and placing protective gauze and bandages around the area.
What to expect during recovery
Immediately after the procedure, your head will be wrapped in a bandage. This is done to ensure optimal healing, as well as to protect and maintain the new shape and position of your ears. At Dr. Ridgway’s instruction, you will be able to remove these bandages within a few days and replace them with a lighter dressing.
Though your specific recovery time will vary, most patients can return to work and school within five days. In addition, you will be able to resume exercise and non-contact sports within three to four weeks, with a full return to contact sports after approximately two months. Once you are fully healed, you can expect the results of your otoplasty to last a lifetime, though some patients do require minor adjustments as they age.
Are you an ideal candidate for otoplasty?
Dr. Ridgway is deeply committed to personalized patient care. As such, he determines candidacy for all of his patients on an individual basis, after carefully evaluating their ears, facial proportions and other features. With that said, here are a few general guidelines to give you an idea of who can benefit from among the best otoplasty Bellevue has to offer:
Children may be considered ideal candidates for ear surgery if they:
- Are at least five years old.
- Can follow instructions well.
- Are healthy and without any untreated chronic ear infections or a life-threatening illness.
- Possess overly large or prominent ears that may affect their self-esteem.
Teenagers and adults may be considered ideal candidates for ear surgery if they:
- Are healthy non-smokers.
- Are without a life-threatening illness or medical condition that may impair healing.
- Want to achieve a renewed self-image by correcting overly large or prominent ears.
Schedule a consultation
If prominent ears are harming your or your child’s confidence, we encourage you to schedule a consultation for among the best otoplasty Bellevue has to offer with Dr. James M. Ridgway. During your private meeting, he will carefully evaluate the size, shape and position of your ears, before composing a custom treatment plan designed to achieve a natural and more balanced overall look.Schedule a consultation