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While many people focus on the central facial features, it’s often forgotten that the ears play a large role in facial symmetry and appearance. With an otoplasty procedure, you can enhance the positioning of the ears to best compliment your appearance. Envision Plastic Surgery offers this and other facial surgery procedures to residents of Salt Lake City, UT.

Ears should go unnoticed. When they stand out because of their shape, it’s actually possible to make a change. Patients who feel embarrassed by their ears come to Envision Cosmetic Surgery for a correction procedure.

What Is An Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is ear surgery to recontour the ears into a more desirable shape. The common term is ear pinning. The goal is to bring the ears into a position parallel to the head. Fortunately, the incisions are hidden behind the ears. Patients are kept comfortable during the procedure with proper sedation and numbing.

Who Are Good Candidates For Ear Surgery?

During your consultation with Dr. Dunkley in Salt Lake, he will determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. This procedure is one of the few commonly done for children. Young kids may be teased and bullied because their ears stick out. If your child’s ears are affecting their well-being, consider surgery. Adults may decide they are ready for a change as well. Other issues such as torn or stretched piercings or intentionally stretched earlobes for gauging purposes, can also be repaired.

Otoplasty in Salt Lake City, UT

At What Age Can I Have My Child’s Ears Changed With Otoplasty?

For surgery to correct protruding ears, this can happen as soon as age four. At this point, the ears are basically fully grown. This timeframe is nice for the child because he or she is not in school yet, so they can avoid any teasing that would otherwise come their way.

For others, otoplasty can be performed, and be beneficial, at any age.

What Can I Expect During My Otoplasty Surgery?

During a consult, Dr. Dunkley reviews the surgery and expected results. The surgery begins with sedation through an IV.  Injections behind the ear make the surgery painless and recovery easy.  An incision is made behind your ear exposing the cartilage. The ear cartilage is recontoured to position the ear much closer to the head. The surgical cut is closed with dissolvable stitches. Bruising is common and a head-band that protects the ears is worn for a week.

Otoplasty Before & After Photos

Otoplasty Before and After Pictures Salt Lake City, UT

Why Should I Choose Envision Cosmetic Surgery For Otoplasty?

Dr. Dunkley takes great pride in his experience and surgical training, but also in the patient-friendly environment he and his team have created at Envision. We want our patients to feel like family, and our reviews and testimonials tell us we’ve achieved that. For children coming in for ear surgery, that’s a big plus.

As for credentials, Dr. Dunkley is board certified in Facial Plastic Surgery & Otolaryngology by the American Osteopathic Association Specialty Certifying Board. He is also fellowship trained in cosmetic surgery. This means he has extra training and experience with surgery involving the face and ears. That’s a valuable benefit for our patients who come to Envision for ear surgery.

How Can I Prepare For My Otoplasty?

Certain medications should be stopped and smoking should be avoided prior to surgery. Avoid activities where your ears could be hit. Arrange for someone to take you to and from your appointment in Salt Lake City. The medicines that help you relax also affect your judgment, prohibiting driving.

What Can I Expect After Surgery?

After surgery, a headband is worn over the ears. Cartilage is sensitive. The pain isn’t severe and diminishes over time but may last longer than desired. The ear shape change is immediate and forever.

What Is Recovery Like After Otoplasty?

After surgery, Dr. Dunkley will have your head wrapped in specific, heavily padded bandages. These are known as “fluff bandages.” After a few days, he will replace these with typical surgical dressings that will stay on for the remainder of the first week. Dr. Dunkley uses dissolvable sutures. Children have less pain than adults after otoplasty, but these are not overly painful recoveries. Due to the blood pressure in the area, you will have some throbbing for the first couple of days, but pain medication manages this. Patients need to avoid sleeping on the affected ear or ears for about two weeks.

Will There Be Visible Scarring After Otoplasty?

There is a small scar where the ear joins the head, but it is located behind the ear and no one will ever see it.  If you have work done on your earlobe, such as mending a torn lobe, there will be a visible scar. These fade quite quickly.

How Soon Can My Child Return To School? How About An Adult To Work?

Otoplasty in Salt Lake City, UTChildren generally need about one week before returning to school. Adults vary. Some patients, if they’re not worried about wearing bandages, can return in just a day or two. Others need a week.

How Much Does Otoplasty Cost?

The cost of these procedures at Envision varies depending on what Dr. Dunkley is doing. Pinning the ears is a simpler procedure than correcting a misshapen ear. Repairing a torn earlobe is easier than correcting an overly stretched earlobe caused by large gauges. During your consultation, Dr. Dunkley will see exactly what is needed for you or your child, and he will give you a precise estimate of your costs.

Is Otoplasty Covered By Insurance?

If your child is having otoplasty simply to bring his or her ears closer to their head, that is considered cosmetic and is not covered by insurance. Correcting a congenital issue with the ears or repairing a torn earlobe often is covered. As you would expect, this can vary with your insurance provider. We work with your insurance company to gain the highest level of coverage, but it does vary.

Is Otoplasty Permanent?

The changes made by Dr. Dunkley with these surgeries are permanent. If he has brought the ears closer to the head, they will stay in that position. If he has repaired a torn or stretched earlobe, the changes are permanent. Our ears have finished growing at the age of four, so they don’t change after that time.

If you’ve been considering an otoplasty, contact us today to learn more about the procedure or to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Dunkley. Envision Plastic Surgery welcomes patients from Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho and Salt Lake City, Utah.