Otoplasty Specialist

Up Pediatric Plastic Surgery

Pediatric Plastic Surgery located in Houston, TX & Webster, TX

If you thought that your child’s ear abnormality would clear up as your child grew, only to find that it persists, you might consider an otoplasty. At Up Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Shitel Patel, MD, and Jacqueline Wegge, MD, are able to correct a host of issues when it comes to your child’s ears. If you’re in Houston or Webster, Texas, and you’re interested in an otoplasty, please call or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.

Otoplasty Q & A

Why does my child need an otoplasty?

There are a number of congenital abnormalities when it comes to the human ear, including:

  • Constricted ear: Your child’s ear (helical rim) is folded over, wrinkled, tight, or missing its normal curves. Sometimes this is also called “lop ear” or “cup ear.”
  • Stahl’s ear: Your child has an extra fold or crease in the upper part of the ear, which can sometimes make the ear appear pointed like Mr. Spock’s ears.
  • Cryptotia: The top of your child’s ear appears as though it’s buried in the surrounding skin, which can be treated with ear molding up until five years of age, but may need an otoplasty after that.
  • Prominent ears: This condition is characterized by large ears that stick out, and the tops of your child’s ears are also missing the normal folds.

If these conditions aren’t treated within the first month of your child’s life with ear molding, you should talk to the doctors at Up Pediatric Plastic Surgery to find out how an otoplasty can help.

When should my child have an otoplasty?

In general, the surgeons at Up Pediatric Plastic Surgery wait until your child is about five years old before performing an otoplasty. At this age, their cartilage is firmer and easier to work with, and the ear itself is near adult size.

This also means that the results of the surgery are better and more durable, and the doctors are able to address the problem before significant social pressures occur.

How is an otoplasty performed?

The surgeons at Up Pediatric Plastic Surgery perform an otoplasty on an outpatient basis, meaning that your child goes home the same day as the surgery.

For the surgery, the doctor makes an incision on the back of your child’s ear, and sometimes removes extra skin. Occasionally, the surgeon needs to make incisions on the front of the ear, but they make every effort to keep the incision small and hidden.

The surgeon lifts the skin off the cartilage, then reshapes the cartilage through rasping, bending, cutting, removing, and/or suturing the cartilage. All of this is done in an effort to re-create the normal folds and contours of a typical ear.

If your child’s ear is prominent, the doctor may suture the ear cartilage down to the tough tissue behind the ear to pin it back.

Once the surgeon is happy with the shape, they re-drape the skin and close the incisions with absorbable sutures and skin glue.

The doctors send your child home with a special head wrap dressing, which should stay on until you return to Up Pediatric Plastic Surgery a week later. Your child also needs to refrain from sports or gym class for about a month to prevent any trauma to the ears while they’re healing.

After the doctor removes the head wrap, you’re supplied with a soft headband to protect your child’s ears and help them hold their shape. Your child should wear the headband at all times for several weeks, and then for about three months at night while sleeping.

If you’d like to further investigate an otoplasty for your child, call Up Pediatric Plastic Surgery, or schedule an appointment by filling out the online form.