Ear Surgery / Otoplasty in Salt Lake City


Ear Surgery – Otoplasty Overview

Excessive protrusion of the ears away from the head can make patients self conscious about the appearance of their ears. Especially for children, they can become the brunt of teasing and jokes that can make them uncomfortable in social situations. Embarrassment will often lead individuals with prominent ears to adjust their hair style to conceal their ears.

The appearance of the ears is usually due to one or both of the following conditions. Instead of having a small cartilage bowl or pouch that tucks along the skull, some patients have an overly large bowl that pushes out away from the head. In addition failure of the cartilage along the rim of the ear to develop its normal crease can lead to an absence of the typical fold and allow the edge of the ear to fall forward.

Correction of the prominent ear depends on which of these problems is present. Suturing to recreate the fold along the edge of the ear and to pull the bowl back against the skull is usually done. This is accomplished through an incision behind the ear. Patient satisfaction is very high with this procedure.

Ear Surgery Recovery Period

The pain after otoplasty is usually quite manageable with the pain medication which Dr. Brzowski prescribes for you. Any uncontrollable pain that exists on only one side can mean a blood clot has accumulated beneath the ear skin and this warrants an emergency evaluation to minimize the risk of permanent cartilage damage.

Two to three days after the operation, Dr. Brzowski or his nurse will see you back and remove the dressings. You will then be able to shower. We will ask you to wear a lightly compressive elastic headband for one month after surgery. The first two weeks you must wear it religiously 24 hours/day. After the first two weeks, we like you to wear the headband whenever possible, especially when sleeping. This is done to avoid inadvertent stress on the closure and the corrective sutures. Failure to follow these recommendations could lead to recurrence of the ear’s previous appearance. During the first 6-8 weeks, we also ask that you avoid any contact sports to minimize the risk of injury to your ears.

The Risks of Otoplasty

As with any operation, there are risks of bleeding, poor healing, infection, dissatisfaction with the results, and complications from the anesthetic such as blood clots and etc. Certain behaviors around the time of your surgery can influence your risks of problems such as smoking and failing to follow instructions regarding wound care and activities. Specifically, smokers are required to discontinue smoking a minimum of 3 weeks prior to surgery and not resume smoking until proper healing as been verified.

Unevenness of the ear projection and appearance can occur. Mild cases are to be expected, but more dramatic cases are very rare. If the sutures used to hold the ear back in place break or pull through the tissue, then recurrence of the preoperative appearance is possible.

Learn More about Otoplasty

If you feel that an Otoplasty might be right for you or your child, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Brzowski to discuss your desires.