Dr. Laufer has over 30 years of experience as an Otoplasty surgeon in Tampa Bay, Fl. Dr. Laufer’s high level of skill and expertise in otoplasty enables him to create a personalized plan to help you achieve you ear surgery goals. An Otoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to improve the shape of your ears. The type of deformity of your ears may be minimal such as an inward curved lobule or a major deformity in the shape of cup ears.
After birth the ear cartilages reach their normal age around the age of 5-6 years old. As this coincides with the age at which primary school starts it is a good age for surgery before the child is exposed to peer ridicule at school. There is no upper limit regarding age for Otoplasty.
Otoplasty surgery in children is typically performed under general anesthesia. In adults it may be performed either under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with or without sedation. After anesthesia and sterilization of the area around your ears an incision is placed on the back side of your ear. There is no need to shave any hair during this procedure. After this Dr. Laufer will take out or rearrange cartilage, soft tissue of the ear and skin. He may also place sutures in the ear to achieve the desired shape. Then he will place sutures to close the incision site. After one ear is finished, measurements will be made and the other ear will be operated on with these measurements as guidelines.
Dr. Laufer will ask you about you or your child’s past medical history, including medications you are taking, allergies, smoking habits, previous surgery and more. He will talk about the various options of correcting ears. In addition, Dr. Laufer will also talk to you about the risks, benefits, anesthesia and possible complications of an Otoplasty procedure. General anesthesia is more frequently performed for children but is also an option for adults. Local anesthesia with sedation is an option in older children and adults. Lastly, Dr. Laufer will also talk to you about results, realistic expectations, and what the limitations of the procedure are.
The patient can typically get up and walk around the evening of the surgery or the following morning, initially with assistance. You should be prepared for moderate swelling and bruising of the ears after removal of bandage. The degree of swelling differs markedly from patient to patient. The swelling and bruising both subside within 4-6 weeks, after which time it is typically hardly notable that you just underwent surgery.
A bandage is frequently applied after the surgery. The bandage is wrapped around your head to apply pressure over the ears and to minimize the risk of blood collection under the skin (hematoma). Change and removal of the dressing is typically pain-free. The bandage is removed usually 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Dr. Laufer will advise you to wear a headband after removal of the bandage. An ointment may be applied to the incision site.
Pain after surgery is typically very mild and well controlled with pain medications. The patient may need to take pain medication for one to five days. Sometimes the bandage itself or the headband may cause pain in which case you should talk with our staff about loosening the bandage or obtaining a larger headband.
Blood may collect under the skin and may require removal. This so-called hematoma may be evacuated with a syringe, or it may require a short surgical procedure for removal. A loss of sensation on the back of the ear may occur but is most often transient and will heal in 2-6 months. Asymmetry of the ears after surgery may also occur. A mild degree of asymmetry is present in most people and should not be regarded as a problem or complication. Pronounced and persistent asymmetry may necessitate additional treatment or a second operation.
The result of an Otoplasty may be expected to last forever. Only when the desired position of the ears is not achieved or when there is pronounced asymmetry, a second procedure may be advised.
Generally speaking the recovery period after Otoplasty is short and you may start doing your daily routines one to three days after surgery. Children may start school after one to two weeks.
“My mission in life, my passion, is to help my patients realize their image potential, giving them a confidence and satisfaction in their lives that they richly deserve.” – Erel Laufer, M.D.