284 Queen Street East, Suite 219
Brampton, Ontario L6V 1C2
Brampton, Ontario L6V 1C2
Despite being small in comparison to our overall size, our ears play influential roles in not only our outer appearance, but also in our inner sense of self and the ways we relate to others. Children with protruding, asymmetrical or misshapen ears are often the subject of teasing and bullying. This can erode self-confidence and lay the foundation for years of low self-esteem.
Adults with prominent ears are not exempt from insecurities. They may feel self-conscious about their appearance, and may feel the need to hide their ears with hairstyles and hats. Those who have lived with protruding ears since childhood may hold an especially negative view of their appearance and therefore lack confidence in other aspects of their lives.
Cosmetic ear surgery, also called otoplasty, at Brampton Plastic Surgery can refine the ears and provide a more balanced look with the rest of the facial features. Although this procedure is small, many patients describe it as life-changing.
Otoplasty improves the shape, symmetry and position of the ears and enhances overall facial harmony. During the procedure, Dr. Haywood reduces or repositions the tissues to create a more balanced aesthetic. The most popular request is to “pin back” prominent ears so they don’t project so far from the head. Ear pinning surgery takes unwanted focus away from one's ears and puts it back on the face and other features.
Many people don’t think twice about the way their ears look. For others, it’s a constant source of anxiety. Otoplasty can help by:
The ideal shape and position of the ears varies from person to person, which is why scheduling a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Haywood is a must. Dr. Haywood customizes each otoplasty procedure for the individual’s facial features.
Otoplasty isn’t just suitable for children; it’s most often performed on children at five or six years of age. This is considered the ideal minimum age for several reasons. First, it is the time when the ear has nearly reached full physical development. Second, it is an age when children start socializing more actively, which means they are more likely to face teasing or bullying because of their “different” appearance. Third, children in this age range are more capable of discussing their feelings and participating in decisions about their care.
Deciding whether to proceed with cosmetic surgery for your child isn't easy. Otoplasty isn’t necessary if your child isn’t bothered by their ears. If your child does express distress regarding their appearance, Dr. Haywood will guide you through the decision-making process. She takes a gentle, comforting approach to make sure her young patients are completely at ease at all stages of the procedure.
Otoplasty can be performed at nearly any age. Most adults are suitable candidates provided they can realistically benefit from the procedure, are in good health and maintain realistic expectations. Generally, there are no added risks associated with otoplasty on an adult. Any additional requirements will be discussed in your consultation with Dr. Haywood.
Otoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure. If the patient is a child, general anesthesia will be used so that the child will sleep through the surgery. For older patients, local anesthesia combined with a sedative may be offered instead.
Dr. Haywood will make a discreet incision on the backside of the ear to expose the cartilage. She will then reshape the cartilage and reposition it closer to the head, then close the incisions with sutures. Depending on the specific needs of each patient, the entire operation lasts about two to three hours.
Otoplasty results are immediately visible after surgery. However, it is still important to carefully follow Dr. Haywood’s aftercare instructions to achieve the best outcome. A large head bandage is worn for about a week after surgery so that the ears will heal in their new, flat position. Stitches are usually dissolvable. Most adults can return to work after about five days. Children can go back to school after about a week.
Otoplasty leaves a faint scar behind the ears, and some degree of mild asymmetry may persist after the operation. Once the ears settle fully into their new placement, the result is a balanced ear aesthetic that looks natural and blends harmoniously with the other facial features. Dr. Haywood’s otoplasty patients enjoy a more positive self-image and a restored sense of confidence and happiness.
The cost of otoplasty surgery can vary depending on a number of factors, including whether the procedure includes one or both ears, the type of anesthesia used and the specific type of correction needed. To help our patients plan ahead, we offer the following sample cost breakdown for a one-hour otoplasty procedure.
Otoplasty is covered by OHIP for patients under the age of 18. For adults, the surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure in most cases and does not receive coverage. We offer patient financing through Credit Medical and Medicard to help offset the cost of cosmetic surgery.
The purpose of otoplasty is to alter the appearance of the outer ear (pinna). Although the pinna’s curves and folds do play a role in concentrating sound waves, routine cosmetic surgery to pin back or reshape the ear should not produce any noticeable changes in hearing. The middle ear and the inner ear, which are more responsible for hearing, are unaffected by this procedure.
Like any other type of surgery, otoplasty poses risks including bleeding, infection or changes in skin sensation. Undesired outcomes such as asymmetry in ear placement or overcorrection can also occur. These risks can be minimized by having the procedure performed by an experienced and dedicated plastic surgeon like Dr. Haywood.
Depending on which technique is used during surgery and what type of sutures are placed, it’s possible that a stitch could loosen and allow the cartilage of the ear to move toward its original position. A follow-up procedure can be done to correct the stitch if this occurs. Trauma that pulls the ear forward could theoretically also restore the ear’s prominence.
In most cases, otoplasty results are permanent. The improved position of the ear is unlikely to change. However, changes in overall ear appearance can occur over time due to normal growth or aging. When otoplasty is performed on children before the ear has reached adult size, the ear will continue to develop normally and may increase in size. As we enter our golden years, gravity causes our cartilage to break down and sag, which gives our ears a droopier, longer appearance.
In addition to “ear pinning” surgery to address prominent ears, Dr. Haywood performs torn earlobe revision and revision of ear expanders.
Sometimes it’s the smallest changes that lead to the biggest rewards. If you or your child is troubled by prominent ears, otoplasty can offer physical, mental and emotional benefits. In addition to creating a more balanced facial aesthetic, otoplasty can improve confidence and self-image, reduce bullying and social anxiety, and open up new possibilities in fashion and hairstyling. Dr. Catherine Haywood is a Royal College-certified plastic surgeon who goes the extra mile to ensure every client receives outstanding care in a welcoming environment.
Please reach out to Brampton Plastic Surgery’s all-female team today at 905-451-2285, or request a consultation online to learn more about your Ontario otoplasty options.