Otoplasty | Ear Surgery Salt Lake City UT | Ward MDThe ear is a structure with intricate shapes and folds. Developmental deformities of the ear are common and may be the result of excess cartilage, improper folding, or a combination of the two. The end result is a prominence of the ear that can be a significant source of concern for children and adults alike. The concern may arise due to something as simple as a feeling of self-consciousness about prominent ears to something as serious as psychological issues from teasing or bullying. Correction of prominent ears is a safe and simple procedure that can restore confidence and allow the individual to lead a normal life.

Similarly, patients with ear lobe defects, either from trauma or previous piercings can have concerns related to the appearance of the ears. These concerns might lead to difficulty in obtaining employment or in social situations.

Otoplasty, or ear pinning, can be performed with or without incisions. Dr. Ward has expertise with both techniques and will choose the procedure that provides the patient with the best possible experience for otoplasty. Similarly, the exact procedure that might be necessary for ear lobe repair depends on the individual.

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Patient Testimonial

“I have hated my ears for years now and don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. I chose Dr. Ward because he had the best reviews and was very personable and knowledgeable when I went in for my consultation. Also, he provided multiple options in how the procedure could be done and had very good prices. His staff and himself are very friendly. At first, I wasn’t too happy because I sat in the waiting room for such a long time waiting to start my consultation but they were all very apologetic and acknowledged me in that aspect so I appreciated it. Dr Ward’s time and expertise is worth the wait. I am almost 2 weeks into recovery and have not had any problems and so far, great results! I highly recommend him!”

Who is a good candidate to have otoplasty?

Anyone who doesn’t like the way their ears look is a good candidate for these surgeries with Dr. Ward. The reasons are varied. A child’s ears may protrude and this leads to teasing at school and issues with self-confidence. Adults who would wish their parents had scheduled this surgery when they were children can still have it for those same reasons. Also, torn or stretched earlobes are a typical need for otoplasty as today’s modern large-gauge and large hoop earrings can cause issues. Finally, congenital development issues can require surgery to address problems such as lop ear.

What is a good age for a child to have otoplasty?

Otoplasty | Ear Surgery Salt Lake City UT | Ward MDFor children, it’s best to have ears pinned to remedy overly protruding ears before the child enters elementary school. Believe it or not, human ears are fully grown usually by age four. So, anytime after that birthday is appropriate.

How long does this surgery take?

Simple ear pinning surgery usually only takes about one hour. Surgery to repair torn earlobes is about the same. The more involved rebuilding of congenital ear problems requires more time, but each patient’s situation is unique. During your consultation, Dr. Ward can give you an idea of what will be involved with your surgery or your child’s.

Is there anything that needs to be done to prepare for otoplasty?

For children, Dr. Ward usually opts to use general anesthesia. This alleviates problems with nervousness. We will give you instructions on eating and so forth for the night before your child’s surgery.

As for adults, you’ll need to stop taking anti-inflammatory medications, any blood-thinning medications, and most supplements a few days before your procedure. That’s about it.

What to expect

What is the recovery process like after otoplasty?

The patient’s head will be wrapped in special heavily padded cotton bandages, referred to as “fluff bandages,” after surgery. After a few days, these will be replaced with surgical dressings that need to be worn for the remainder of the first week. At that time, stitches will be removed. Due to the blood pressure in the area, there will be some throbbing for a couple of days, but that can be managed with pain medication. Patients need to avoid sleeping on the affected ear or ears for about two weeks. Children can return to school after about one week. Adults often won’t need an entire week, although this varies by the patient.

Before and After

More Before and After Pictures

Will there be visible scarring after otoplasty?

With ear pinning surgery, there is a small scar where the ear joins the head, but because this is located behind the ear it is basically invisible. In cases where earlobes need to be repaired, Dr. Ward’s surgical experience enables him to make the slightest scar possible, but there will likely still be a vertical scar. This will fade with time.

Are there risks with otoplasty?

There are the same risks as with any surgery: bleeding, infection, poor incision healing, and the like. Otherwise, this is a very low-risk procedure. The satisfaction for the child (or adult) not having his or her ears protrudes far outweighs any possible risks involved.

How soon can I return to work or my child to school?

Children can usually return to school after about one week. Adults may not need that much recovery time. This varies with the patient.


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