|Demetrio J. Aguila, III, MD, FACS
Board Certified Otorhinolaryngologist
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, with a special interest in Peripheral Nerve Surgery
Fellow American College of Surgeons
About the author: Dr. Aguila is one of the world’s foremost peripheral nerve surgeons and an Active Member of the American Society for Peripheral Nerve. He also specializes in aesthetic and reconstructive nasal, facial, and airway procedures. Dr. Aguila completed his Otolaryngology Residency at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and his Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Residency at the Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, and the University of Maryland Medical Center
“My son has floppy ears, and everyone at school picks on him.” It’s a story that I hear often – patients and their parents are distressed about the shape of the external ear, stating that it “sticks out too much.” Fortunately, help is available. Sometimes called “pinning back the ears,” otoplasty is a time-honored procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis – the patient comes in for surgery, goes home the same day. It’s a straight-forward procedure that usually involves an incision on the back of the ear to access the cartilage that is causing the undesired shape. Depending on which part of the ear is affected, sutures in the cartilage or removal of a portion of the cartilage are often required – sometimes both.
Post-operative care involves wearing a headband around the clock for the first two weeks to help keep the ears in position, and then at night for the next month afterwards. Helmets, headphones, or anything that goes over the ears should be avoided for at least 6 weeks following surgery. The success rate is high, but it should also be understood that patients who engage in contact sports can have recurrences years later due to disruption of the sutures due to trauma.
If you think you or your family member might be a candidate for this procedure, see a board-certified plastic surgeon or board-certified otolaryngologist to find out more.