When ears have an abnormal appearance, otoplasty, or ear surgery, can repair ears by manipulating the cartilage to reshape, resize and/or reshape ears as needed. With otoplasty, Chicago plastic surgeon, Dr. Karol Gutowski, can treat excessively large and protruding ears known as cup ears, as well as underdeveloped ears. These and other ear deformities can be caused by birth defects or a traumatic injury. Along with otoplasty, Dr. Karol Gutowski also performs earlobe repair surgery which can result from wearing overly heavy earrings or from an injury.
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"Great bedside manner, great staff, great results! - From the very start, my experience with Dr. G and his staff was nothing but excellent! I reached out to several plastic surgeons inquiring about a non-surgical nose job, and although they all reached out within 1-2 days, Dr.G's office demonstrated excellent patient care right off the bat. Their patient coordinator, Ellen, called me and allowed me to come in for a consultation during a time..."- M. / RealSelf / Jan 22, 2019
"Scar Revision Was Huge Success - I had scar revision done on 2 large scars in my abdomen. I had 3 major operations 10 years ago that left me with horrible scars. For years I hated the way they looked and I would ask doctors if they can fix it. I always heard the same thing that no one can fix that. Well Dr Gutowski proved them all wrong. I found Dr Gutowski while doing extensive research on qualified surgeons. He was amazing..."- E. / RealSelf / Jan 21, 2019
"Just got Botox here and had such a great experience. Super clean and bright office, and everyone is super friendly. The doctor took his time with my consultation and wasn't pushy about anything. He took his time to go over any concerns and questions before asking if Botox was something I still wanted to do. He made conversation and made sure that I left without any questions or concerns, and if I did even after I left, to call or stop back in. Will definitely be back."- A.M. / Yelp / Jan 17, 2019
"Amazing experience! - Dr. Gutowski is Amazing, Very knowledgeable & there for me every step of the way with every call & visit I couldn’t have asked for a better Dr. His assistant, Ellen was just as amazing with answering every question & there for me also. The River North Surgery Center was also an amazing experience from the moment we walked in the door to the compationate nurses. The A..."- 5. / RealSelf / Oct 14, 2018
Torn Earlobe Care
Ear surgery may also involve a torn earlobe. This can occur with heavy earrings or through other trauma. The surgical repair of a torn earlobe is generally straightforward. The skin cleft between the two sides of the tear is removed, and using either a skin graft or donated cartilage, a new lobe is reconstructed. Sutures are used that are placed in both the front and back of the ear and will remain intact for several weeks. Several post-operative visits may be required so that the sutures can be removed in several phases to ensure the lobe is strong and aesthetically appealing.
In the cases of protruding ears, the cartilages are reformed and sometimes supported by splints. Soft tissues may also be trimmed away. The incisions are made behind the ear to reveal the ear’s confines. The ears will be repositioned by tightening the skin and then sutured. In cases of hidden ears, when cartilages are not fully developed, manipulations may include reshaping the cartilages by pulling or repositioning while splints are placed as supports. Sometimes, tissue grafting is also necessary to render volume.
Otoplasties are performed with general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility. It takes 1 to 2 hours to complete, and the patient will be sent home for recovery. The ear will be bandaged to keep the new position and shape in place. This also helps so that children cannot touch or play with their ears, which may complicate healing. Activities must be limited, especially within the first week. Scars will remain hidden behind the ears or within the natural folds if the incisions are made in front of the ear.
Plan Your Procedure
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Ear Surgery FAQs
The ears typically mature faster than any other part of the body, therefore, at an appropriate age and time when surgical adjustments are made, the results are generally long lasting. Even as the body changes due to age and gravity, the changes to the ear will be minimal and a secondary otoplasty is usually not needed.
When To Have Otoplasty?
On average, 5-6 year olds are ideal candidates for otoplasty as the ear will be already developed and the cartilage and tissues will still be soft, making it easy to reshape. This age is also recommended as it is a time before any schooling, which helps to avoid teasing.
One Or Both Ears?
Usually, the condition is symmetrical to both ears. The final shape that the surgery will aim for will depend on the initial structure of the ear and how cartilages are placed. If the procedure is only for one ear, the shape will be patterned after the normally formed ear.