Otoplasty poses various risks, including:
- Scarring. While scars are permanent, they'll likely be hidden behind your ears or within your ears' inner creases.
- Asymmetry in ear placement. This could occur as a result of changes during the healing process. Also, surgery might not successfully correct pre-existing asymmetry.
- Changes in skin sensation. During otoplasty, the repositioning of your ears can temporarily affect skin sensation in the area. Rarely, changes are permanent.
- Problems with stitches. Stitches used to secure the ear's new shape might work their way to the surface of the skin and need to be removed. This can cause inflammation of the affected skin. As a result, you might need additional surgery.
- Overcorrection. Otoplasty can create unnatural contours that make ears appear to be pinned back.
Like any other type of major surgery, otoplasty poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia. It's also possible to have an allergic reaction to the surgical tape or other materials used during or after the procedure.
Aug. 23, 2012
- Otoplasty. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Cosmetic-Procedures/Ear-Surgery.html. Accessed June 22, 2012.
- Thorne CH, et al. Grabb and Smith's Plastic Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2007:1.
- Ear surgery. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. http://www.aafprs.org/patient/procedures/otoplasty.html. Accessed June 28, 2012.
- Bite U (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 11, 2012.