Otoplasty is surgery to correct deformities or imperfections of the external ear. These imperfections may range from “Bat” ears or prominent ears, to “Cup” ears or constricted ears. Very severe congenital deformities like microtia or anotia is occasionally seen as well. Depending on the extent and type of deformity you may be concerned about; various techniques can be used to correct them.
Simply pinning back the ear cartilage may be all that is required for patient lacking an anti-helical fold and this procedure is typically performed under local anaesthestic in our clinic. More extensive deformities requiring rib grafting or cartilage resection is typically performed under general anaesthesia.
For patients with microtia, the benefit of working with an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon familiar with ear reconstruction would be that your hearing function would be evaluated and can potentially be corrected as part of the whole reconstructive effort.
Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is purely for cosmetic reasons. Surgery to correct or improve birth defects or traumatic injuries may be reimbursable in whole or in part. It is the patient’s responsibility to check with the insurance carrier for information on the degree of coverage.
“Ear surgery can offer a big increase in self esteem for most patients which is why it continues to be a popular procedure,” said Robert M. Kellman, MD, President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.