Highly-qualified ear surgery (otoplasty) is available in Miami, FL
Are you uncomfortable with the shape, size, or projection of your ears? You are not alone. An estimated five percent of our population has some type of ear malformation. For countless others, though their ears are within the physiologically normal range, they are not happy with proportions or positioning. In other cases, piercing or body modification has led to changes that the individual would like to have reversed. Those in the Miami, FL area have access to the ear surgery (otoplasty) expertise of Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Nirmal Nathan.
Outer ear anatomy
Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that improves shape, size, or position (or a combination of these elements) of the visible portion of ears, helping to balance proportions of the face.
- Helix – Outer rim, starting at the scalp and terminating at the earlobe. The edge folds over and turns inward.
- Anti-helix – Y-shaped cartilage with two distinct parts (inferior crus and superior crus) that generally follows the line of the helix.
- Scapha – An indented grove between the helix and anti-helix.
- Fossa triangularis – Small depression at the upper portion of the ear, toward the face.
- Tragus – Small cartilage projection directed away from the face, located just in front of the ear canal.
- Anti-tragus – A little protrusion opposite the tragus.
- Concha – Curving structure, bounded by the cymba superiorly and cavum inferiorly.
- Lobule – The soft, fleshy lowest point of the ear, and the only part that has no cartilage.
The natural design of the outer ear funnels sound waves into the auditory canal (meatus), and eventually to the ear drum and middle ear. The tragus and anti-tragus also have the specific function of helping the brain identify the direction from which sound originates.
While it might seem like ears are all like, there are actually many variations. A successful outcome from otoplasty depends in large part on the surgeon’s familiarity with these distinctions, and an ability to identify them on a potential patient. For example, some people have a Darwin’s tubercle, a small prominence at the back of the helix, believed to be a remnant of early man’s folded down ear.
- Size variations (anotia, microtia, and macrotia)
- Low-set ears
- Angled ears
- Cryptotia – where the upper portion appears to be buried under skin
- Crumpled ear
- Cupped ear
- Lop ear
- Shell ear
- And many others
Each variation influences the technique the surgeon must use to enhance ear aesthetics.
Are you a good candidate for ear surgery?
While all sorts of abnormalities may be corrected with otoplasty, the majority of patients simply want ears to lie closer to the head or look smaller, torn piercings repaired, or distended lobes from ear gauges corrected.
The most important part of the process at The Nathan Clinic is the consultation. You will discuss your current health status, medications, and lifestyle. Dr. Nathan takes plenty of time to understand your concerns and goals in considering ear surgery. He examines ears and evaluates the condition of skin and underlying tissues. Information is provided to help you make an informed decision about whether surgery is right for you, and to develop realistic goals for the outcome.
Most people in reasonably good health, without medical conditions which may impair healing, are good candidates for the procedure. Plan to stop smoking for several weeks before and following surgery. The doctor will talk with you about stopping anti-inflammatory medications and herbal supplements that may increase risk of bleeding.
Prominent or misshapen ears can have a big impact on a child’s developing sense of self. There is no need to wait to adulthood to have surgical correction. It is best to address the situation early, before it impairs the child’s confidence and body-image – and kids typically recover very quickly!
Ear plastic surgery – what to expect
While the procedure is precise, it well-planned and thus performed efficiently, usually taking no more than an hour per ear. In most cases, otoplasty requires only local anesthetic to numb the treatment area, and a mild sedative (oral or intravenous) to keep the patient relaxed.
Surgical technique depends on the type of enhancement desired. To correct protruding ears, a procedure often referred to as “ear pinning,” Dr. Nathan increases the fold of the anti-helix (or creates the fold if it is not present), and reduces cartilage of the concha. Incisions are made behind the ear, or when necessary, in natural folds at the front of the ear, where they are not noticeable. Nonremovable internal sutures ensure that repositioned or shaped cartilage remains in place. External incisions are closed with fine sutures that leave minimal scarring.
You will need a ride home from surgery, due to residual grogginess from the sedative. However, you are encouraged to move around that evening. The surgical area is bandaged, and The Nathan Clinic provides instructions on how to care for ears once you get home. The most important considerations are keeping the surgical site clean, and avoiding injury or trauma while tissues heal. Sun protection is also essential, so invest in a broad-brimmed hat before your procedure.
While each patient is unique, bandages can generally be removed within ten days of surgery. The great news is that results (especially in the case of protruding ears) are immediate once dressings are removed, and the improvement is considered permanent.
Why otoplasty (ear surgery) in Miami, FL makes sense
Dr. Nathan is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He has fellowship training in craniofacial surgery, and more than a decade of experience in the artistry and precision of aesthetic procedures. The Nathan Clinic contains fully equipped procedure suites with the latest in medical technologies. Most importantly, you will find that the doctor and team are uniquely concerned with providing a caring, compassionate patient experience.
Are you weary of your ears dictating what hairstyle or accessories you wear? Do you feel like large, protruding, or unusual ears are the first thing people notice (and what they remember) about you? Are you curious about ear surgery? Call The Nathan Clinic in Miami, FL at (305) 680-5121 to talk with Dr. Nathan about otoplasty.