Otoplasty (surgery to correct protruding ears) can be performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation (teenagers and young adults), or general anesthesia (pediatric patients). The hair is taped back and the ears are cleansed with Betadine to remove skin bacteria.
The front and the back of the ear are injected with a special anesthetic mixture of both marcaine and lidocaine mixed with epinephrine. This mixture reduces reduces bleeding, bruising and pain post operatively. An incision is made in the back of the ear in a location that conceals very well. Some excess skin and soft tissues are removed from behind the ear. Dr. Mobley believes strongly to NOT INCISE (cut into) the ear cartilage. This creates unnatural “harsh” edges and is not ideal. With a sculptor’s eye, the cartilage is reshaped with permanent stitches that provide a strong and natural ear that will maintain its natural shape for a lifetime. Other permanent stitches are also placed which draw the ear closer to the scalp. Less commonly the earlobes need to be reduced as well. And even less commonly protrusions of cartilage called “Darwinian Tubercles” can also be corrected all in the same procedure. The artistry of this operation includes not only creating a beautiful ear, but an ear that has natural curves, bends and a normal distance from the scalp.
The skin is then closed with dissolvable stitches, and a form-fitting dressing is placed. Each ear takes about an hour. In some cases of otoplasty their is an natural asymmetry between the right and left ear pre-operatively. These asymmetries can usually be corrected within 90% or greater given Dr. Mobley’s extensive experience in otoplasty. After the operation, with the ears having a more natural shape and being closer to the scalp these minor asymmetries are much less noticeable given the fact the ears are not as “eye catching” as they were prior to otoplasty surgery.