Peter Galpin, M.D., FACS

Kahului, HI (96732)

200 Kalepa Pl # 203

(XXX) XXX-XX00 phone

(808) 877-7480 fax

Procedural Photos

Ear Reshaping (Otoplasty)

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Ear Reshaping (Otoplasty):

Frequently Asked Questions

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These FAQ's are designed to help you with general information about a given procedure. They are not designed to give full detail, or take the place of informational consults with a Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

What can an Otoplasty do?

Otoplasty is designed to change the contour of the outer ear. It does not in anyway improve hearing. It is most frequently used to "set back" ears which protrude too much.

How is the operation done?

In order to change the shape of the ear, the underlying cartilage framework must be reshaped. This is done with sutures and/or carving/scoring of the framework. The incisions for the surgery are most commonly hidden behind the ear (although occasionally a small incision in the front is needed). Depending on the age of the patient, the operation can be done in the office under local anesthetic (for adults and older children), or as an out patient at the hospital (for younger kids).

What Is The Recovery Time?

The patient needs to wear a protective head dressing for several days (all the time for 3-5 days, and at night for several days longer). Most of the bruising will resolve in the first week with the remainder fading over the second week. It will, however, take several weeks or months for the fine detail to show, and the ear to feel normally pliable and natural. It is not a very painful operation, but you will need some moderate pain medication the first few days.

What Are The Risks Of Surgery?

All risks to this surgery are uncommon, but they should be discussed in detail with your surgeon. The most common is recurrence of the protrusion. This is most likely caused by the "memory" in the framework, or one of the sutures pulling out. There is the unlikely risk of infection, but if it happens it needs to be treated right away. Although the scars are well hidden, there is always the risk that the scar may be less than ideal.

What Does The Surgery Cost?

If it is done in the office roughly $4600 - $6500. If it needs to be done in the hospital, around $5000 - $7000. This includes all costs except tax.

Can Ears Just Be Taped Back?

This may sound like a silly question, but it turns out that if protruding ears are taped back in infancy (in the first 2-3-weeks after birth), they will stay in that location. It appears the cartilage framework during this period stays flexible due to the hormones, from the mother, which are still circulating. Ears should be taped back all the time during the first 1-2-months. They may even need a wax mold to hold them in shape, but this may well avoid surgery in the future. After this early period, taping does not work.

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