Ear Surgery

Am I a good candidate for ear surgery?

Patients who benefit from ear surgery include those who may have:

  1. Protruding ear(s)- Majority of the cosmetic surgery performed on ears.
  2. Large ear(s)
  3. Abnormally shaped ear(s)

Ear surgery often is recommended for children as they near total ear development at age five or six. Correction of the ears prior to the child entering school helps eliminate potential psychological trauma from the teasing of classmates. Adults may also have their ears reshaped. As long as you are in good health, there is no upper age limit for this surgery.


Results of Your Ear Surgery

Usually the final results of the ear surgery are very long lasting.


Your Personal Consultation - How will Dr Warfel evaluate me for aesthetic ear surgery?

During the initial consultation, you will be asked to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved. This will help Dr Warfel to understand your expectations and determine whether they can realistically be achieved.

You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history including previous surgeries, past and present medical conditions and current medications. It is important for you to provide complete information. High blood pressure, thyroid problems, diabetes, if you have any drug allergies etc. should be reviewed as these medical conditions may increase some risks associated with ear surgery.


How is Aesthetic Ear Surgery Performed

One of many surgical techniques may be suggested to improve the appearance of your ear(s). The particular technique that is used will depend on the nature of the problem and many other factors including your desires. Because of individual factors, not everyone will achieve the same results from ear surgery. Dr Warfel will select the surgical technique that will obtain the best outcome for you.

If your problem is protruding ears, the supporting tissue of the ears, called cartilage, is reshaped in order to position your ears closer to your head. This usually is accomplished through incisions placed behind the ears. Subsequent scars will be concealed in the natural skin crease.


Understanding Risks of Ear Surgery

Fortunately, significant complications from aesthetic ear surgery are infrequent. Every year, many successful cosmetic ear surgeries are performed, without experiencing any major problem.

The subject of risks and potential complications of surgery is best discussed on a personal basis between you and Dr Warfel. The risks in most surgeries are similar. Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin that may require removal), infection, changes in sensation, scarring, allergic reactions, damage to underlying structures, need for revisions, unsatisfactory results possibly necessitating additional procedures and medical risks. Sutures may be visible or may even break allowing for partial or complete recurrence of the protrusion and / or loss of the ear fold. Irregularities, sharp folds and other shape abnormalities may ensue.

You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of the doctor and the written instructions he gives you, both before and after your ear surgery.


Your Surgical Experience (Preoperative Preparation and Recovery)


The goal of Dr Warfel and his entire staff is to make your surgical experience as easy and comfortable for you as possible.

If you are a smoker, it is recommended to stop smoking well in advance of surgery since smoking can impair the healing process. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions.

Aesthetic ear surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia. If this is the case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you for the next 24 hours.

The Day of Ear Surgery

Your ear surgery may be performed in a hospital, or our certified office-based surgical suite.

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Usually, local anesthesia is used. For your safety during the operation, various monitors are used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.

When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. You will be instructed to inform your caretaker if the dressings feel too tight. There is surprisingly little discomfort, however, from the surgery, especially if the ears are in a head dressing.

You probably will be permitted to go home after a short period of observation.

Recovery from Ear Surgery

It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.

The first several days you should maintain head elevation as much as possible. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications.

Initially, pain is usually controlled with oral medication. Some patients find that mild swelling persist for many weeks. Bruising typically disappears within seven to ten days. Stitches are usually removed within a week of surgery.

After surgery, you may be instructed to wear gauze dressing or bandage for a few days or up to several weeks to ensure that your ears heal in their new, corrected position. Often a ski band to cover the ears is worn at night to prevent the ears from bending during sleep.

Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within ten days or less. Most people return to work at 4- 7 days.


How much will ear surgery cost?

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices for ear surgery vary widely, and are often dependent on degree of surgery needed to solve your particular problem. A quote can only be obtained after an examination by the doctor.

The fees are often broken down into several components:

  1. Surgeon’s professional fee
  2. Facility fee
  3. Anesthesia fee
  4. Medications
  5. Surgical garments
  6. Medical tests


Maintaining a Relationship with Your Plastic Surgeon after Ear Surgery

You will return to Dr Warfel's office for follow-up care at prescribed intervals, at which time your progress will be evaluated.

Please remember that the relationship with your plastic surgeon does not end when you leave the operating room. If you have questions or concerns during your recovery, or need additional information at a later time, you should contact Dr Warfel.