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What is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure to improve the look of the ears, altering their projection, size, and shape. Ear pinning can help place the gaze back on the eyes and the smile, creating a positive first impression that is harmonious and inviting. The surgery can help restore confidence and security in adults and children alike, making it possible to wear your hairstyle of choice instead of having to hide the ears.

Dr. Maercks is dedicated to delivering natural-looking outcomes that are seamlessly integrated with your existing facial structures. Ideally, the ears will draw no attention to themselves in terms of the overall appearance of the head. Surgery is customized to each patient’s unique goals, aesthetic preferences, and comfort levels.

How is Otoplasty Performed?

Otoplasty typically involves adjusting the cartilage within the ears to give them a more pleasing shape. Sutures can be used to rotate protruding ears so that they lie flush against the head. Incisions are well-hidden within the folds of the ears and tend to fade over time.

Ear surgery takes around 1-2 hours. Local anesthesia with sedation can be used for most adults and older teens, but children have the option to undergo surgery with general anesthesia so that they will be completely asleep during the entire process.

    What are the benefits of otoplasty?

    • Reshapes ears that protrude from the head
    • Creates ears that are balanced with the other features
    • Improves self-confidence
    • Long-lasting results
    • Natural-looking final appearance

    Who is a good candidate for ear surgery?

    Among the chief concerns of clients seeking otoplasty are:

    • Protruding ears
    • Overly large ears
    • Ear asymmetry
    • Poor results from a previous otoplasty
    • Congenital deformities

    Patients undergoing surgery should be non-smokers in good mental and physical health who do not have any serious medical conditions that might interfere with their procedure or its recovery. A positive, realistic attitude towards the outcome of surgery is invaluable and is a requirement for anyone choosing to undergo a cosmetic procedure.

    Otoplasty can be performed on children 5 years old and up, as long as their ears have finished growing. Once the child reaches 5, their cartilage is strong enough to sustain sutures. The child will need to be assessed for their willingness to follow instructions and be cooperative with their recovery. To avoid teasing and bullying, otoplasty is suggested as soon as possible, usually between 5 and 7 years old.

    How much does otoplasty cost?

    Pricing for otoplasty will vary, depending on the extent of the work performed. Costs will include the surgeon’s fees, anesthesia fees, facility fees, and others. We will provide you with a customized quote for services when you come in for your confidential, detailed consultation.

    What will recovery entail?

    After surgery, dressings are placed over the ears and remain in place for several days. Pain medications and ibuprofen can be used to help relieve any discomfort. At night, a protective headband may be required to help maintain the new ear shape. Clients usually return to work or school within about a week. Exercise can be resumed within 3-4 weeks.

    Why choose Dr. Maercks?

    Dr. Maercks is passionate about delivering natural-looking results that are carefully crafted to reflect the client’s best interests. He is a compassionate, skilled plastic surgeon who works tirelessly to achieve a successful outcome you will be happy with for years to come. 

    Dr. Maercks graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine, going on to complete a prestigious integrated plastic and reconstructive surgical residency at the top-ranked Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He then further refined his skillset with a fellowship guided by leading pioneers in the complex field of craniofacial and aesthetic surgery.

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    What can I expect from my consultation?

    A consultation with Dr. Maercks is an excellent time to discuss your concerns and get answers to your questions. The doctor will perform a physical evaluation and conduct a thorough review of your medical history to make sure that you or your child is an ideal candidate for otoplasty. Dr. Maercks will then create a surgical plan tailored to your needs and walk you through what to expect from start to finish. Clients leave their consultation feeling informed, educated, and empowered to make the best decisions for their health and appearance.

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    Ear Surgery FAQ

    Will there be scars?

    Otoplasty patients are lucky in that their scars are almost completely hidden behind the ears. Incisions heal quickly, and the scars fade over time.

    How soon will I see results?

    Within a few weeks, you will be able to see the changes created by otoplasty. Many clients recover quickly and are excited to enjoy their new look and new hairstyles.

    Are there any risks?

    Otoplasty comes with minimal risks, as long as you choose an experienced, skilled surgeon such as Dr. Maercks. Possible complications from surgery include anesthesia risks, poor wound-healing, infection, bleeding, and asymmetry.

    Will I need to take time off?

    Both adults and children will need to take off around 5-7 days after their surgery to rest and recuperate. For children, it’s suggested that the procedure is undergone during either summer or winter holidays when there will be the most downtime available.

    Will my hearing change?

    Otoplasty is purely a cosmetic procedure and will not affect hearing in any way. The outer ear is reshaped and contoured to create a more pleasing, conventional appearance. The surgeon will adjust the ear cartilage, the tops of the ears, and sometimes the earlobes.

    Are results permanent?

    Yes, the results of otoplasty will last for years to come, improving quality of life and ensuring an appearance that is engaging and attractive.

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