Otoplasty (Ear Tacking)

Otoplasty is performed on patients who need to reduce or reshape their ears. The patients have one or two ears that are protruding out too much causing emotional and psychological distress. The protrusion is mainly congenital, meaning from birth. The protruding ear cartilage is not hardened until the age of nine. Therefore this procedure should not be performed on children below the age of nine. However, after the age of nine, the procedure can be recommended to the patient and/or the parents of the minor patient. In most instances though, patients wait until adulthood to repair the protruding ear. The procedure can be performed either under general anesthesia, twilight anesthesia or local anesthesia, all depending on the patient’s and surgeon’s preference. The incision is made on the back of each ear, and therefore hidden from the eye. The back of the ear is then literally tacked with sutures to the skull pulling the ear back with it. The scar heals very well and the sutures are removed one week following surgery. The patient usually wears a head strap over the head to keep the ears secure in place for one to two weeks. Recovery time is usually five days, and patients return to most of their daily routines at that time. Post–operative pain following this procedure is between two to three.