When it comes to facial features, there’s a wide range of what’s considered “normal.” But if you have a feature that stands out and calls attention to itself, it may fall outside that acceptable range and make you feel embarrassed.
Children with prominent features often face ruthless teasing that shapes their personality development. Adults who feel self-conscious about their looks may forego opportunities, isolate themselves socially, or experience depression.
Fortunately, we can help.
Dr. Kiran Polavarapu has years of experience performing procedures that transform your body into a more balanced, symmetrical version that aligns more closely with your personal ideal. She has a particular passion for helping patients overcome negative experiences that stem directly from an obtrusive feature.
That’s why we offer otoplasty — ear surgery that reshapes and resizes prominent ears for children and adults — at Polavarapu Plastic Surgery in Fort Worth, Texas. Here’s how it works.
What is the best age for ear surgery?
Dr. Polavarapu recommends waiting until your child is at least four before considering ear surgery. Children younger than that may not understand the procedure and can’t communicate their feelings well. Also, by age four, their ears are almost completely formed.
If your child’s ears stick out or are misshapen, you can help them avoid harmful teasing and bullying by scheduling the procedure early in their life. Most of our young patients get ear surgery between the ages of 4 and 14.
Adults can undergo otoplasty at any age, but Dr. Polavarapu requires that all patients be nonsmokers in good physical health. She also discusses the procedure at length with you, ensuring you have realistic expectations of the outcome.
What problems can ear surgery fix?
Otoplasty is a customized procedure that addresses your unique physical features. No two surgeries are alike, and Dr. Polavarapu can correct myriad deformities and aesthetic issues. Here are some of the most common ear problems that prompt our patients to seek surgical help.
Ears that stick out
Prominent ears are ears that stick out too far from your head — three-quarters of an inch or more. Too much cartilage in the bowl-shaped concha of your ear, or an antihelical fold (the C-shaped structure just inside the outer rim) that didn’t develop properly, can push your ears away from your head.
Ears that fold over at the top are called lop ears, cup ears, or constricted ears. This congenital deformity affects the ear's upper third, making it appear folded, rolled, or wrinkled.
A shell ear occurs when the natural folds inside the ear and the outer rim are missing.
Ears that are too large are a common complaint, but some people have ears that are too small, which can cause the same self-image issues. In a condition called microtia, the outer ear or pinna is too little or missing.
In rare cases, babies are born missing one or both ears completely, a condition called anotia.
Traumatic accidents, sports injuries, or dog attacks can damage your ears, leaving you with lacerations or other disfigurements.
Hope for ear anomalies
Dr. Polavarapu can correct prominent ears with a surgical technique called pinning. In this procedure, she removes excess cartilage, sculpts existing cartilage to create a new shape, and uses stitches to hold the ear in position as it heals.
She can also correct lop ears by shortening the cartilage and repositioning the entire ear. The procedure may require a graft of rib cartilage and skin.
Whatever complaint you have about the shape, size, or position of your ears, Dr. Polavarapu can create more natural-looking ears so you — or your child — can face life with confidence.
To learn more about otoplasty, schedule a consultation with Dr. Polavarapu — contact us online or by phone.