Certain high profile plastic surgeries tend to get all the attention, such as breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and liposuction. However, plastic surgeons are also well-versed in a number of lesser-known plastic surgeries, including Otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery.
Patients may seek out cosmetic ear surgery for a number of reasons. For some, ear surgery is about changing the size or shape of their ears. This can include adjusting ears that the patient believes are too large or protrude too much from their head.
Ear surgery may also be performed to repair ear injuries, or in extreme circumstances, to replace lost ears.
Ear surgery has also become increasingly popular for repairing what’s left behind by youthful fads. The practice of ear “gauging” became popular in the United States in the 1990s as a counterculture trend.
In gauging, a tube or cone is inserted into a pierced ear to expand the size of the piercing. Over time, the gauge is replaced with larger and larger versions to gradually stretch the lobe of the ear.
This type of body modification has a long history. Depictions of Buddha often have similarly stretched ear lobes, and even King Tut’s funeral mask appears to have large pierced holes through the ears. However, some patients find themselves with stretched ear lobes to accommodate a look they no longer desire. Some even believe their stretched lobes can hurt their options for career advancement or professional memberships.
Once the lobe is stretched around a hole greater than 1.5 cm, the ear cannot return to its original shape on its own, Metro reported. Once the lobe reaches a certain size, surgery is required to repair the modified tissue.
Plastic surgery can repair the stretched ear lobe, restoring it to a more natural shape. This procedure may be done under local anesthetic, but it’s important to discuss all options with a cosmetic surgeon.
Cosmetic ear surgery is not designed to affect hearing, only to change the aesthetic appearance of the ear.
Read more in The Amerejuve Insider Vol. 2 No. 4. To schedule a free consultation with an Amerejuve board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss ear surgery or any other procedure, call (713) 960-6262.