If your patients have ever been called Dumbo or Mickey Mouse—they know why otoplasty, a procedure to correct protruding ears, is gaining popularity. Otoplasty aims to reduce the size of or reshape abnormally large ears, which contributes to a good first impression in a big way.Ears greatly impact your appearance because they harmonize the face and head—and put everything into balance. People undergoing otoplasty are looking for ears that lie close to the head and extend from the level of the brow to the base of the nose, which is the ideal position and what is considered the most attractive.
More than 4,100 otoplasty procedures were performed in 2012, according to statistics from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. While it may not be as prevalent as rhinoplasty or face lifts, surgeons report that they’ve seen an increase in interest in otoplasty procedures in 2012. “Ear surgery can offer a big increase in self esteem for most patients which is why it continues to be a popular procedure,” says Robert M. Kellman, M.D., president of the AAFPRS. “When considering otoplasty for an adult or child, patients and parents should consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in plastic surgery of the face, head and neck.”
Men, women, and children are opting for updated ears. The AAFPRS says otoplasty is one of the top 10 most common procedures performed on men, requested as often as hair transplantation, forehead lift, and ablative skin resurfacing. Women are often interested in the procedure before their wedding; though it is only a small portion of procedures requested. With all eyes on them on their big day, women feel like pre-wedding is the time to correct any lingering insecurities so they can look their most beautiful.
Post-surgery, patients enjoy a new ear shape and position that makes them feel attractive and renews their self-esteem. Due to the naturally hidden position of the incision during otoplasty (in the crease, behind the ears), scarring is minimal and not visible, so people only notice the enhanced appearance. Hearing is also not affected.