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Ear / Otoplasty

Otoplasty in Sarasota, FL

Overprojected or large ears that stick out from the sides of the head are a common source of embarrassment for children and adults alike. Also known as “ear pinning” or ear reshaping surgery, otoplasty is a procedure that is designed to reshape a patient’s ears and place them closer to their head to improve facial balance and aesthetics. It is often performed on children who are self-conscious about their ears looking different than those of their peers.

Otoplasty may also be beneficial for adults who would like to improve their confidence by reshaping ears that have bothered them throughout their lives. Dr. Alberico J. Sessa of Sarasota Surgical Arts is a member of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery who is pleased to offer otoplasty in Sarasota and South Florida to help patients feel more comfortable and confident in their daily lives.

The Goal of an Otoplasty

Ears are a noticeable component of every individual’s facial aesthetics. If they are abnormally large or stick out from the sides of the head, they can take away from a person’s confidence and prevent them from living life to the fullest. This is where an otoplasty can help. The main goal of an otoplasty is to make the ears less prominent so that they aren’t the focus of negative attention. It is a simple procedure leading to permanent results that can change the lives of children and adults for the better.

Benefits of Otoplasty

The most noteworthy benefit of otoplasty is that it can allow children and adults to feel less self-conscious and more secure in their appearance. Abnormal or large ears can make a person feel insecure and interfere with their social lives, making otoplasty well worth the time and financial investment. In some cases, Dr. Sessa performs this procedure to reduce large ears. Other times, he may use it to move protruding ears closer to the head or as part of reconstructive surgery to repair ears that have sustained physical damage.

Ideal Candidates for Otoplasty

Children and adults who are concerned about the appearance of their ears may be good candidates for otoplasty. Children must be at least 5 years of age before undergoing this procedure as the ears may not be completely developed before this time. This procedure is not an option for patients with chronic ear infections or severe medical conditions. During a consultation, Dr. Sessa can help patients determine whether or not this procedure is a good fit.

What to Expect During a Consultation

We encourage patients interested in otoplasty to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Sessa at his office located in Sarasota. Dr. Sessa will evaluate the patient’s medical history, take a close look at their ears, and learn more about their goals.

If a patient is deemed a good candidate for this procedure, Dr. Sessa will explain what they can expect and share before and after photos of real otoplasty patients. This will give them a realistic idea of the types of results they may enjoy.

Keep in mind that while Dr. Sessa can significantly improve the appearance of a patient’s ears, he may not be able to perfect them. Understand that perfect symmetry of both ears is unnatural and unlikely, so it’s not something patients should expect from an otoplasty.

Preparing for Otoplasty

Dr. Sessa will ask patients who have an upcoming otoplasty procedure to stop taking medications that may increase bleeding and bruising for two weeks prior to and following this cosmetic surgery. Some examples of these medications include blood thinners, ibuprofen, and aspirin. Dr. Sessa will also discourage patients from taking nutritional supplements and drinking alcohol during the surgical preparation and recovery periods.

In addition, Dr. Sessa requires patients who smoke or use any other type of nicotine product to quit two to four weeks before their procedure. This is because nicotine may interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of surgical complications. Patients can expect Dr. Sessa to thoroughly explain everything they need to do to prepare for their otoplasty so they can enjoy the very best results.

The Procedure

At Sarasota Surgical Arts, Dr. Sessa performs otoplasty as an outpatient procedure. It typically takes one to two hours to complete and Dr. Sessa can perform it under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation. Otoplasty procedures for children typically require general anesthesia for the child’s safety and comfort.

In most cases, Dr. Sessa will make incisions behind the ear on both sides of the head. Once the incisions have been made, he will strategically reshape the ear cartilage and reposition the ears closer to the patient’s head. Then, he will close the incisions with sutures and place a soft bandage around the patient’s ears. Otoplasty is a fairly straightforward procedure that comes with minimal pain and downtime.

Recovering from Otoplasty

Most patients recover from otoplasty in Sarasota in two weeks or less. While they may experience some aching and tenderness in their ears, this should fade within a few days. Dr. Sessa may prescribe pain medication to ensure optimal comfort during the recovery process.

Patients can expect stitches to be removed within 10 to 14 days. Although patients can resume work, school, and other daily activities within a few days, they should pause strenuous physical activity and contact sports for six weeks so the patient’s ears can heal completely.

Patients should notify Dr. Sessa right away if otoplasty patients have a fever that persists, constant sharp pain in the ears, increased swelling or redness, or drainage from the wound.

Risks and Complications

Although otoplasty is a fairly simple procedure, it is still a surgery that may involve some risks and complications. These include infection, scarring, excessive bleeding, delayed wound healing, and hematoma. Fortunately, risks and complications rarely happen when a highly skilled and experienced cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Sessa performs otoplasty.


What ear issues can otoplasty resolve?

Patients most commonly seek otoplasty to resolve protruding ears. However, there are a number of other issues that can be corrected with this surgery. It can improve the appearance of a lop ear, which occurs when the tip of the ear folds down and forward; a cupped ear, which is an ear that is abnormally small; and a shell ear, which is when there is a curve in the ear’s outer rim. It may also improve the look of large or stretched earlobes that are the result of aging, earrings, or gauges. Dr. Sessa can help a patient determine whether otoplasty is a good solution for their particular ear abnormality.

Is an otoplasty performed on both ears?

Since we have two ears, many prospective otoplasty patients wonder if Dr. Sessa can perform the surgery on only one ear. Usually, he conducts otoplasty on both ears. However, he could perform it on only one ear if a specific abnormality only affects that particular ear.

Does otoplasty affect hearing?

Contrary to popular belief, otoplasty does not affect hearing. Its main purpose is to alter the shape of the outer ear, not to affect the patient’s hearing. Dr. Sessa is a highly skilled cosmetic surgeon who can perform the procedure in a way that does not cause hearing complications.

How long does an otoplasty take?

Depending on the patient’s particular goals and the amount of correction required, otoplasty can take from one to two hours on average.

Does otoplasty result in visible scarring?

While otoplasty does create permanent scars, they tend to be very small. Since they are hidden behind the ear or in the front crease of the ear, they are virtually invisible to the naked eye.

Is an otoplasty painful?

Patients can expect some throbbing or aching of the ears in the first few days following otoplasty. Pain medications prescribed by Dr. Sessa can heal any pain or discomfort a patient may experience.

Can swimming be resumed after otoplasty?

Dr. Sessa does not recommend swimming for otoplasty patients until they have completed the healing process. Most patients have to wait for six weeks after surgery before they resume swimming. Dr. Sessa encourages them to wear a protective swim cap and refrain from swimming in crowded pools as this may raise injury risk.

Is otoplasty a permanent procedure?

Since otoplasty involves changing the shape of the underlying ear cartilage and getting rid of any excess material, it is considered a permanent solution to abnormal ears. In rare cases, children may grow too much tissue and require a touch-up procedure.

Are there non-surgical ways to correct abnormal ears?

Yes. There are several non-surgical solutions to resolve ear abnormalities. However, these solutions are often temporary. In some cases, they may even exacerbate ear abnormalities and add to the problem. Therefore, otoplasty is the ideal solution for children and adults who would like a permanent fix for their abnormal ears and finally improve a feature that makes them feel self-conscious.

Why Choose Dr. Sessa of Sarasota Surgical Arts

Dr. Sessa is an expert and understands the emotional toll abnormal ears can take on a child or adult. For this reason, he takes great pride in delivering exceptional results through otoplasty procedures.

If you choose Dr. Sessa over other cosmetic surgeons for your otoplasty in Sarasota, you can expect a customized treatment plan and personalized attention before, during, and after your procedure. We have no doubt that you’ll appreciate his friendly, approachable personality at our state-of-the-art South Florida surgery center.

Schedule an Otoplasty Consultation with Dr. Sessa at Sarasota Surgical Arts

If your ears make you feel self-conscious and you’re ready to resolve their abnormalities for good with an otoplasty, it is in your best interest to schedule a private cosmetic surgery consultation at our surgery center located in Sarasota. Feel free to call us at 941-923-1736 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!