The ears frame your face, so proportion and balance is a desirable goal. The changing appearance over time, congenital defects and trauma can all impact the way that you feel about yourself.
Have you heard about these concerns regarding your ears?
• Ear Tags: Our ears form six small bumps or hillocks. These small hills of tissue join together to form the outer ear. If the process is incomplete, one or more small bumps may form around the ear. These are called ear tags. These are generally easily removed when the child is 5-7 years of age. This is a common time for children to have corrective surgery, as their body image is developing and they become more aware of the differences.
• Prominent Ear: Another common condition that presents with ears is the prominent ear. As the small hills of tissue merge together, they tend to fold forward and then lay back down. In some children the ear does not fold back, resulting in a prominent ear. The ear is fully formed, but sticks out from the head. Often times this is a hereditary condition, meaning that it may be passed from one generation to the next. The surgical procedure to complete Mother Nature’s process is called otoplasty. The otoplasty procedure begins by removing a strip of skin from behind the ear. One of two conditions occur to keep the ear from laying back. The first condition occurs when there is too much cartilage in the bowl of the ear. The cartilage can be trimmed, allowing the ear to settle into it’s natural position. The second issue that may occur independently of the first condition is that the fold on the front of the ear does not develop, resulting in a funnel shape to the ear. Special sutures called Mustarde Sutures can be placed to help recreate the fold. These sutures are permanent. The cartilage is weakened with a scalpel and the suture is designed to hold the ear cartilage in place during the healing stage.
• Torn Earlobes: Torn earlobes are a common ear condition. The earring holes begin to lengthen with repeated wearing of heavy earrings, as well as often sleeping with earrings. The holes become larger and eventually tear completely through. The enlarged earring hole, or the completely torn through earlobe is usually repaired in the office under local anesthesia. A few dissolvable sutures will be removed in a week if still present. Ears can be pierced again after healing occurs, generally after 6 weeks.
• Long Earlobes: Another common ear condition that presents as we age is the long earlobe. Long earlobes become a maturing feature to the face. Often the long earlobe is shortened when a facelift procedure is performed. It can be performed by itself in the office but will leave a scar running below the ear for 1-2 cm depending on how long the ear lobe is before surgery.
• Thin Earlobes: Another aging change that develops for many people is the loss of volume in the earlobes. The earlobes for many become skinny. Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvederm, can be placed in the earlobes, giving an immediate plumping. Fat transfer can also be used. Generally fat transfer is performed in the operating room making it a more expensive option.
If you are ready to find out more about cosmetic procedures for the ear, call Dr. Brian Maloney, a surgeon with years of specialized experience in the field of plastic surgery. Patients from all over north Georgia including Rome, Cumming, Gainesville, Roswell, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek and Milton trust him with their aesthetic needs.
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