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Ear Surgery - Otoplasty

Otoplasty is a cosmetic ear reshaping procedure that Calgary plastic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Lee can use to adjust the size, position, and proportion of the ears. It is often done to reposition and “pin” prominent ears closer to the head. This gives a dramatic result and can restore an individual’s confidence by providing a improved appearance.

When to Consider Surgery?

  • If you have overly large ears
  • If your ears stick out and are overly prominent
  • If you have a significant difference in size, prominence or symmetry between your ears

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How is the procedure performed?

  • Otoplasty is usually performed under local anesthesia and patients are often given an oral sedative for added comfort.
  • Dr. Lee makes an incision behind the ear within the natural skin fold.
  • Any excess cartilage or soft tissue responsible for the ear sticking out is carefully trimmed
  • If there is an absence of a normal ear fold, the fold is created by shaping and bending the cartilage with sutures. This allows the ear to rest closer to the head in addition to restoring its natural shape
  • Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision and a head dressing is applied

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Dr. Jonathan Lee (MD, FRCSC) is an experienced, Canadian and New York fellowship-trained Plastic Surgeon based in Calgary. Well-established, he is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and specializes in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

Dr. Jonathan Lee (MD, FRCSC)

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Otoplasty Surgery

Preparation

During your initial consultation, Dr. Lee will perform a thorough evaluation of your ear size, shape, proportion, and prominence. He will determine if you are a good candidate for otoplasty and make a recommendation tailored to your specific goals. Pre-treatment photos will be taken and any potential risks and complications will also be discussed.

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Recovery Period

Most people describe mild pain to both ears in the first week following surgery. Dr. Lee will prescribe you a pain reliever. After the first week, Tylenol is usually sufficient for any discomfort.

Swelling and bruising around the ears is normal in the first several weeks. A head-band is worn for the first 2 weeks following surgery continuously, and then for an additional 2 weeks only at night.

Most people will take one week off from work. Normal activities may be done the next day after the surgery, but contact sports and heavy chores should be avoided.

Dr. Lee will typically see you one week after the surgery to check your ear position and healing. At this time, he will also provide you with detailed scar care instructions. The next visits will be after 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 1 year.

Long Term Results

Although there is a small risk of prominent ear recurrence, results from ear surgery are typically life-long. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and skin care regimen are strongly recommended to help patients get the most longevity out of their surgery results.

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Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Alberta Society of Plastic Surgeons
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
University of Calgary