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Under normal circumstances we hardly notice people's ears. However, if the ears are very large, prominent or distorted, they tend to catch our attention. Prominent, protruding or poorly shaped ears can be flattened, and contoured to a more elegant form with ear reshaping surgery. The cartilage in the ear is responsible for its shape. The cartilage is flexible and elastic so it can be bent but will return to its original shape. By altering the amount, thickness or shape of the cartilage, the contour of the ears can be permanently improved.
Computer imaging is usually performed before ear reshaping so that you can see what changes are possible. This helps you see exactly how you want your ears to look, and it helps Dr. McBride determine the best technique to achieve your cosmetic goals.
Summary of Procedure
Ear reshaping is performed under a light general anesthetic. A long lasting local anesthetic is also used to maintain optimal comfort during recovery. A small incision is made on the back of the ear and the cartilage is reshaped as needed. Some cartilage is usually removed to reduce the ear prominence. Permanent sutures are placed in the cartilage to create the desired contours. The incision is closed with dissolving sutures. A fluffy bandage is applied for the first day or two.
There may be some mild swelling and bruising of the ears which will usually resolve in seven to fourteen days. The ears can remain tender for a month or more, but are usually not tender unless pressure is applied. The patient must be careful when sleeping to keep from rubbing the ears on the pillow. A sweatband or ski band should be worn while sleeping for the first few weeks to protect the ears.