Otoplasty (Ear Surgery) in Houston, TX
Premier Plastic Surgery provides ear reshaping for residents of Houston, Pearland, Lake Jackson, and the surrounding areas of South Houston. Otoplasty is performed on children and adults by experienced plastic surgeon Christopher Hankins, MD for congenital abnormality or cosmetic purposes.
What is Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)?
Does your child have prominent ears? Are they ridiculed by their playmates? Many children are needlessly tormented due to their protruding ears during their school years, resulting in a great deal of stress and loss of self-esteem.
Normally, the prominence of the ear, or auricle, is due to the lack of development of the anti-helix, which is the fold of the cartilage parallel to the outer rim of the ear. In the frontal view, the normal anatomic position of the anti-helix is slightly more prominent than the helical or outer rim of the ear. The good news is that this deformity is easily correctable by a cosmetic procedure known as otoplasty surgery or cosmetic ear surgery.
What is Ear Shaping?
Enlargement of the ear can occur due to aging. It is possible to decrease the length of the ear by taking a staggered wedge and closing the resultant defect with an acceptable aesthetic result. Patients who present to the office with a torn ear lobe, a common injury, can have the deformity repaired in the office under local anesthesia and is virtually painless.
About Dr. Hankins’ Otoplasty Approach
What sets us apart from other plastic surgery practices that perform ear reshaping, is that we offer a specific technique known as the Chongchet otoplasty that is commonly taught in the U.K. during the course of plastic surgery training. In contrast, nearly every plastic surgery residency program in the United States is exclusively trained in the Mustarde technique. What is the difference?
The results of the Chongchet technique are vastly superior, as the lack of a fold in the ear (known as the anti-helix) is created by skillful partial division of the perichondrium, the membrane covering the ear cartilage so that it bends away from where the cuts are made.
By contrast, the Mustarde technique uses sutures to tie the ear back. It’s often referred to as ear pinning. Unfortunately, these stitches can and do break, resulting in the recreation of the deformity. Furthermore, many patients treated with the latter technique can have a sharp fold in the ear, resulting in an operated, unnatural appearance.
Which would you choose for your child – a repair that appears completely natural and is permanent or an unnatural appearance of the ear that can literally fall apart if a suture breaks? If you choose the first option, we are the go-to practice for this deformity. We suggest that a repair of the ear be done prior to the child entering the first grade.
Prominence of the ears can, unfortunately, subject children of school age to torment and ridicule from their peers. Therefore, Dr. Hankins recommends that this condition be treated with this outpatient procedure prior to children attending kindergarten. However, adults wishing to have this deformity corrected are also welcome to come to our practice for evaluation by Dr. Hankins.
Post-operatively, a head dressing is applied to protect the operation. In children, it is not uncommon to have to reapply the dressing during the first week. A ski band or sweatband is then recommended at night for an additional three weeks. A follow-up appointment in three months to view the final result is routine.
How much does ear surgery cost? Premier Plastic Surgery proudly offers financing options for our patients – call our office for pricing information.
To learn more about the otoplasty services we offer or to schedule a free ear surgery consultation, contact our office today. Our friendly staff is happy to answer any questions you may have. Premier Plastic Surgery serves patients all over South Houston, as well as Houston, Pearland, and Lake Jackson, TX, under the direction of Dr. Christopher Hankins.