Creating the Ears You Deserve

For the most part, the operation is done on children between the ages of 6  and 14. Ears are almost fully grown by age 6 and the earlier the surgery, the less teasing, and ridicule the child will have to endure. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient.

If you or your child are considering ear reshaping surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Guy Cappuccino at our Mount Airy, MD location. We’re proudly serving patients in the Mount Airy and Frederick areas, so schedule your consultation when you’re ready to learn more about what ear reshaping surgery can do for you.

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When to Consider Ear Surgery

Besides protruding ears, there are a variety of other ear problems that can be helped with surgery. These include lop ear, when the tip seems to fold down and forward; cupped ear, which is usually a very small ear; and shell ear, when the curve in the outer rim, as well as the natural folds and creases, are missing. 

Surgery can also improve large or stretched earlobes or lobes with large creases and wrinkles. Surgeons can even build new ears for those who were born without them or who lost them through injury.

All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk

When ear surgery is performed by a qualified, experienced surgeon like Dr. Cappuccino, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, as with any operation, there are risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.

A small percentage of patients may develop a blood clot on the ear. It may dissolve naturally or can be drawn out with a needle. Occasionally, patients develop an infection in the cartilage, which can cause scar tissue to form. Such infections are usually treated with antibiotics; rarely, surgery may be required to drain the infected area.

Planning Your Surgery

Most surgeons recommend that parents stay alert to their child's feelings about protruding ears; don't insist on the surgery until your child wants the change. Children who feel uncomfortable about their ears and want the surgery are generally more cooperative during the process and happier with the outcome.

In the initial meeting, Dr. Cappuccino will evaluate your child's condition, or yours if you are considering surgery for yourself, and recommend the most effective technique. He’ll also give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, according to the details of your procedure.

Ear surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure in a doctor's office-based surgical facility, or a freestanding surgery center. Most patients tolerate the procedure with local anesthesia only while watching TV!

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Getting Back to Normal

Adults and children are usually up and around within a few hours of surgery, although you may prefer to stay overnight in the hospital with a child until all the effects of general anesthesia wear off.

Your head will be wrapped in a bulky bandage immediately following surgery to promote the best molding and healing. The ears may throb or ache a little for a few days, but this can be relieved by medication. Within a few days, the bulky bandages will be replaced by a lighter head dressing similar to a headband. 

Be sure to follow your surgeon's directions for wearing this dressing, especially at night. Stitches are usually removed or will dissolve in about a week, but any activity in which the ear might be bent should be avoided for a month or so. Most adults can go back to work about five days after surgery. 

Children can go back to school after seven days or so if they're careful about playground activity. You may want to ask your child's teacher to keep an eye on the child for a few weeks.

Love Your Natural-Looking Ears

Most patients, young and old alike, are thrilled with the results of ear surgery. But keep in mind, the goal is an improvement, not perfection. Don't expect both ears to match perfectly, as perfect symmetry is both unlikely and unnatural in ears. Dr. Cappuccino will be sure to discuss your results with you and be sure that you have realistic expectations about your outcome, so you can enjoy the shapely ears that you deserve.

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