Otoplasty is the medical name derived from Greek words: ous – ear and plassein – to shape. It correlates to the surgical procedures aimed to correct the deformities and defects of the external ear (pinna). The plastic surgeon corrects the defect or deformity by creating an external ear that is of natural proportions, contour, and appearance. In aesthetic surgery the most common correction of the ear anomalies is the correction of the prominent ear (wing ear, bat ear). According to Tanzer´s classification the prominent ear belongs among congenital ear malformation as a type V deformity which is the least significant malformation. The severity of the malformation depends on the degrees of angle between the head and the ear, and the degrees of angle between the ear folds – the scapha and the concha.
Otoplasty was developed in ancient India in the 5th century BC, by the ayurvedic physician Sushruta which described in his medical compendium.
The corrective goal of otoplasty is to set back the ears so that they appear naturally proportionate and contoured, because they are harmoniously set back, without evidence or indication of surgical correction. Therefore, when the corrected ears are viewed, they should appear normal, from the front, rear and side perspective.
Candidates for otoplasty share certain important characteristics. They need to have appropriate skin elasticity and quality so the skin can conform to its new, improved contours. It is mandatory for patients to have realistic expectations, they should understand not only what otoplasty can accomplish, but also the limitations of the procedures.
Ear augmentation is the procedure which addresses the underdeveloped ear of the various extent from anotia (absent pinna) to small defects or deficiencies. It is usually the most complex surgical technique.
Ear pinback (otopexy) is the procedure that “flattens” protuberant ears against the head. The principle of the surgery is to reshape the cartilage into the new, more natural form thanks to incisions, milling and with subsequent fixation of the new shape with special stitches, molds and bandages.
Ear reduction is the surgical technique addressing large pinna – macrotia by reducing one or more of the components of oversized ears – the skin and the cartilage.
Otoplastic surgery can be performed under local anesthesia, rarely under sedation or general anesthesia. Depending upon the deformity to be corrected, the otoplasty can be performed mostly as an outpatient surgery. Operating room time varies from1 to 5 hours.