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Ear Reduction Surgery

Ear reduction surgery, also called otoplasty, may be used to help patients dealing with macrotia, a congenital ear deformity that causes excessively large ears. Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of the CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery is a globally recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon with extensive knowledge of the head and neck. He can determine if an ear reduction procedure is a safe, effective treatment for a macrotia patient.

What Is Macrotia?

Macrotia, sometimes referred to as “big ear syndrome”, makes the ears appear larger than normal. The condition tends to affect children, causing the ears to look large and out of proportion relative to the head.

Macrotia Causes

Some of the reasons why macrotia occurs include:

  • Börjeson-Forssman-Lehmann syndrome (BFLS): A rare genetic disorder that can cause seizures, intellectual disabilities, and obesity. Large, fleshy earlobes may develop due to BFLS.
  • Fragile X Syndrome: A genetic disorder that causes learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. Large ears are a prominent facial feature in fragile X syndrome patients, and they tend to become more noticeable as a patient gets older.
  • Trichorhinophalangeal Syndrome Type II (TRPS II): A medical condition that causes bone and joint malformations. Large, laterally protruding ears may form due to TRPS II.
  • Melnick-Needles Syndrome: A rare medical disorder that causes skeletal abnormalities and other health issues. Melnick-Needles Syndrome can also cause large ears, along with hearing loss due to malformations of tiny bones in the ears.

Regardless of why a patient experiences macrotia, it is important to pursue all available treatment options. In doing so, a patient may be able to undergo treatment to reduce the size of the ears without impacting their function.

Macrotia Symptoms

On average, the length of a child’s ear is approximately 6 cm. For adults, the length of the ear may extend to 6.5 cm.

In patients dealing with macrotia, the length of the ear may exceed 6.5 cm. In this instance, it may be beneficial to consult with Dr. Azizzadeh to learn about otoplasty surgery to reduce the size of the ears.

Do I Qualify for Macrotia Reduction Surgery?

A complete ear and facial exam is required to determine if a patient is eligible for otoplasty surgery. During the exam, the ears can be measured to evaluate their deviation from the normal size. If a patient is deemed to be a good candidate for macrotia reduction surgery, a treatment plan is tailored to the patient.

How Is Macrotia Reduction Surgery Performed?

Before an otoplasty is performed, Dr. Azizzadeh requests a patient consultation. Dr. Azizzadeh uses the consultation to evaluate the patient and review their medical history. This allows Dr. Azizzadeh to determine if ear reduction can be safely performed. If Dr. Azizzadeh recommends ear reduction surgery, he crafts a custom treatment plan for his patient. Dr. Azizzadeh also responds to his patient’s treatment concerns and questions.

During an ear reduction procedure, Dr. Azizzadeh wants to simultaneously reduce the size of the patient’s ears without compromising their hearing. He also wants to ensure that the ears will appear proportional to the patient’s head.

To accomplish his desired results, Dr. Azizzadeh uses careful, precise techniques throughout ear reduction surgery. The ears are delicate, and Dr. Azizzadeh does everything possible to limit the risk of ear damage during surgery.

A typical ear reduction procedure requires three to six hours to complete. Prior to surgery, a patient may receive general anesthesia. Then, a small incision is made into the back of the patient’s ear. Dr. Azizzadeh next removes excess cartilage and skin from the ear. He sculpts any remaining tissue, ensuring the ear appears smaller and more proportional to the head.

Is Ear Reduction Surgery Safe?

Dr. Azizzadeh is a Harvard-trained and dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He has performed many ear reduction surgeries over the years and only recommends this treatment if he deems it safe for a patient.

Ear reduction surgery is performed after Dr. Azizzadeh evaluates a patient. In addition, Dr. Azizzadeh uses advanced surgical techniques to minimize risk during treatment.

Ear Reduction Surgery Risks

Potential complications of macrotia surgery include:

  • Bad reaction to anesthesia
  • Accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring

Dr. Azizzadeh discusses ear reduction surgery risks prior to treatment. He also provides his patients with detailed postoperative care instructions.

What Happens After Ear Reduction Surgery?

Patients may experience some discomfort following ear reduction surgery. Ear swelling, redness, and tenderness are common.

Dressing is placed on the ears after macrotia surgery. It is usually removed one week following treatment. Applying an antibiotic ointment or other forms of wound care may also be required.

A patient typically requires a week away from school or work after an ear reduction procedure. Patients should get plenty of rest in the week after surgery. They should keep the head elevated as much as possible to limit discomfort.

Dr. Azizzadeh provides patients with instructions they can use to protect their ears during recovery. If any issues arise during the recovery period, patients should immediately notify Dr. Azizzadeh.

Will Otoplasty Surgery Affect My Hearing?

Dr. Azizzadeh focuses exclusively on the outer ear during otoplasty surgery. He administers treatment to the outer ear and avoids the internal ear structures. This ensures that an otoplasty will have no effect on a patient’s hearing or any internal ear structures.

When Will I See the Results of Ear Reduction Surgery?

The results of ear reduction surgery start to appear within two weeks of treatment. The full results of treatment usually become visible after one year.

Otoplasty surgery results are permanent. Dr. Azizzadeh requests follow-up appointments to track the results of surgery. These appointments allow Dr. Azizzadeh to identify any potential issues that can otherwise hamper a patient’s ability to achieve the full results of treatment.

Ear Reduction Surgery Cost

The cost of ear reduction surgery is discussed during an initial consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh. In some instances, insurance may cover the surgery if it is required due to a functional ear problem. Also, Dr. Azizzadeh offers financing options for ear reduction and other surgeries.

Is Ear Reduction Surgery Right for You?

A consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh is crucial for those who are considering ear reduction. The consultation allows Dr. Azizzadeh to examine a patient and determine their eligibility for ear reduction surgery or other treatment options.

Schedule an Ear Reduction Treatment Consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh

Dr. Azizzadeh is available to discuss macrotia reduction surgery. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please contact us online or call us today at 310-657-2203.

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