Overly large or misshapen ears can lead to a lot of psychological pain and embarrassment during one’s formative years. These features are difficult for others to miss and, unfortunately, quite easy for fellow youngsters to ridicule. This is undoubtedly why most of our otoplasty patients are either children (brought in by their parents) or young adults who intend to tackle long-held sore spots in their self-image. Everything you have heard is true: it is difficult growing up with big ears. Dr. Kimberly Short can help you.
The Gillian Institute for Plastic, Aesthetic, and Laser Surgery was founded by Dr. Kimberly Short to bring premium plastic and aesthetic services to Indianapolis, Indiana, and beyond. She is joined by Dr. Robert Lewis and her hand-picked staff to present their vision of “an artist’s eyes, a surgeon’s hands, a feminine touch” to the communities of Carmel, Fishers and the entire Midwest.
Contact us to see what our team can do for you. Call (317) 787-3260 in Downtown Indy and (317) 913-3260 on the Northside to schedule your private consultation at the Gillian Institute.
- 1 About Otoplasty
- 2 Before and After Photos
- 3 Candidates
- 4 Your Personal Consultation at the Gillian Institute
- 5 Ear Surgery Procedure
- 6 Results & Recovery
- 7 Otoplasty Alternatives
- 8 How Much Does Ear Surgery Cost in Indiana?
- 9 FAQ
- 10 References
For an otoplasty or ear pinning surgery, Dr. Short places her incisions behind or inside the ear to keep them very well concealed. By placing permanent sutures in the cartilage, she pins the ear back and reshapes the contour of the ear as needed. This procedure is commonly performed on children, teenagers or young adults.
Following your otoplasty, the doctor places light dressings for the first two days of your recovery. She then prescribes a compression device to be placed over the ears. This will promote adequate molding and maintain ear placement. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and the recovery period is about ten days.
For a torn or injured earlobe, Dr. Short will excise the excess tissue. She brings the edges of the earlobe back together and secures them with sutures. The sutures are removed after ten days. Dr. Short will place steri-strips for six weeks to ensure adequate healing and pressure to the surgery site. We recommend light earlobe massage after two weeks to reduce the swelling and any firmness. The earlobe may be re-pierced after 12 weeks. Recovery time is minimal. You may resume showering after three days. After or a week or less, you can return to work or school.
Quick Surgery Facts
- Otoplasty Surgery: performed under general or monitored anesthesia
- Earlobe Repair/Earlobe Reduction: performed under local anesthetic
- Procedure length: 2.5 hours (or less)
Learn the fascinating facts behind all the Gillian Institute’s impressive procedures by reading our blog!
Before and After Photos
Children’s ears have typically stopped growing by about age five or six. Unless the ear surgery is being performed for some health-related issue, such as to correct the child’s hearing, then a doctor is likely to advise waiting until such time as the otological cartilage has finished developing.
There are other matters concerning development which are relevant, too. Since misshapen or protruding ears can be the source of some psychological strain (even trauma) for their child, a parent may wish to rush the young patient into an ear pinning procedure as soon as they can qualify. But the child herself or himself must cognitively understand the goals of otoplasty and wholeheartedly consent to them.
For optimal psychological outcomes in any plastic surgery, it must be an act of informed agency for the patient, rather than just one more thing that seems out of their control.
When to Consider Otoplasty or Earlobe Reduction Surgery:
- Ears that protrude (stick out) and are out of proportion
- Earlobes are too large, either congenitally or due to stretching at the earlobes
- The earlobe piercings are stretched or torn
- Inability to wear earrings
Your Personal Consultation at the Gillian Institute
Your personal consultation at the Gillian Institute is intended to be an educational experience. Dr. Short will have lots of information to share. Most importantly, however, she is eager to lend your concerns about otoplasty a compassionate ear. Please do ask questions on behalf of yourself or your young one so that you are properly illuminated on all the procedure entails.
Call (317) 787-3260 in Downtown Indianapolis and (317) 913-3260 on the Northside of Indy to schedule your private consultation at the Gillian Institute. In the meantime, read our radiant reviews to see our grateful patients beam about their positive experiences with our team.
Ear Surgery Procedure
Usually performed under a local anesthetic, otoplasty is a simple, outpatient procedure that requires no overnight hospital stay.
- Make incision behind or inside the ear (to minimize visible scarring)
- Remove requisite cartilage and/or skin
- Suture the ears to the desired position and close all incisions
- Apply the appropriate head bandages
But healthcare is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Your situation demands focus and individual attention, Dr. Short is the perfect surgeon to attend to your unique needs
Results & Recovery
Seven to ten days of rest are required for otoplasty. After your surgery, Dr. Short will require you to return to her office so she can remove your dressings. After ear surgery, you will need a caregiver or “recovery buddy” for the first two to three days.
You can plan on about a week of downtime following your ear surgery. During this time, you should wear your compression headband to assist in the healing process. If you have followed your doctor’s post-op directions, most of the swelling and discomfort should subside after the first three days.
Even after you start to feel better, you should continue your doctor’s antibiotics regimen as prescribed. After several days of recovery, you will be cleared to return to work or school. Continue to wear your headband for a month following surgery.
The aim of your aftercare is to avoid damaging your surgical correction. Trauma to the site may result in less-than-optimal results and necessitate revision surgeries. Nearly all of the swelling will have subsided after three months. After a year, your newly-shaped ears should be fully healed and looking fantastic.
- Ears that are closer in position to the head and more proportional
- Improved earlobe size and shape
- Correction of stretched earlobe piercing
- Ability to re-pierce the earlobe (if desired)
Otoplasty stands as the most effective means of addressing cosmetic concerns about the ears, but some alternatives do exist.
If the protrusion is diagnosed in early infanthood, a doctor may attempt taping a pair of earmolds to either side of the child’s head. Earmolds are like braces for the ears. These appliances are most effectively deployed prior to the primary development phases. Earmolds seize upon major growth spurts to reshape the baby’s ears without surgery. They take about two months or less to do their work. Earmolds require about three to four doctor’s visits to keep tabs on their progress. Take heed: earmolds are constrained by a narrow window of efficacy. If the protrusion is too severe, or recognized too late, then ear surgery is the best option.
EarFold is a recent, minimally-invasive alternative to the full otoplasty procedure. It requires your doctor to insert permanent metal implants in lieu of sutures. EarFold is a relatively new procedure, however. So longterm data regarding its effectiveness is still quite limited. It is only useful in more mild cases of protrusion.
How Much Does Ear Surgery Cost in Indiana?
Your personal consultation is an ideal opportunity to get an accurate cost quote for your ear surgery. Only after they have carefully considered your case will Drs. Short or Lewis be able to account for all aspects of your procedure. That being said, we’re proud of our transparent pricing at the Gillian Institute. We list $4,375 as our base cost for ear pinning.
Ear surgery is not exceptionally painful. Many patients report minimal post-op discomfort associated with the procedure. In most cases, over the counter painkillers are all you will require to manage any aches during your aftercare. The surgery site will be the most tender immediately following your procedure. There may also be some throbbing. Please adhere to both your antibiotics and pain management prescription regimens. Antibiotics will reduce swelling, guard against infection and hasten your recovery in the long term.
The benefits of ear surgery are long-lasting. The procedure is a surgical correction to the size, shape and orientation of the ears. The effects of age and continued growth may have an impact on the ultimate outcomes of otoplasty, but cartilage is not capable of regenerating. So, your ear surgery is sure to have profound and lasting effects.
- Niamtu, J. (2018). Cosmetic Otoplasty and Related Ear Surgery. Cosmetic Facial Surgery, 473–532. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-323-39393-5.00008-x
- Otoplasty. (2018, August 14). Retrieved January 6, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/otoplasty/about/pac-20394822.