Examining the different types of ear surgery

Examining the different types of ear surgery
Examining the different types of ear surgery

Individuals looking to add a little​ oomph to their ears are in luck, as there exist a number of procedures specifically geared toward restructuring these prominent lobes. While some patients are looking to correct ears that are seemingly too large or misshapen, others seek procedures that will allow them to don unusual shapes based on their favorite fictional characters.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that in 2013, more than 40,000 individuals opted for this procedure, making it the 11th most popular operation of the year. Additionally, this was the fifth most common surgery among males, with men accounting for more than 38 percent of all otoplasties. 

Ear surgeries can be corrective, reconstructive or cosmetic, so patients considering this option should learn about the different courses of action for this procedure.

Opting for an otoplasty
​Otoplasties, or ear reshaping operations, encompass a variety of nips and tucks for the ears. These procedures can correct misshapen, uneven or disproportionately sized ears and, according to Smart Beauty Guide, are essential for boosting self confidence, especially in younger patients. Ear pinning, for example, is ideal for those who feel as though their ears stick out too much. This procedure flattens the ears, allowing for them to be more level with the rest of the patient's head. Repositioning is where a surgeon makes the ears more flush, while reshaping can decrease the appearance of oversized ears.

Generally, otoplasties can have a significant effect on one's facial symmetry and self-confidence, and results are typically long-lasting.

Corrective ear surgery for gauged ears
Gauged ears have become increasingly popular in the last 10 years. People are opting for large holes in their earlobes, and while this trend may look cool at the time, older adults have expressed their regret for jumping on this bandwagon during their younger years. Dylan Olson, a 21-year-old resident of Salt Lake City, had gauges in his ears that were an inch and three quarters in diameter. He explained to local news source KSL that he had to get plastic surgery to correct his lobes, as gauges without earrings can cause an unsightly appearance. 

"My ears looked pretty even, pretty balanced," Olson said to the source. "They looked great and I had the ear lobes left that I wanted."

Olson added that while he thought the look was cool as a teenager, he didn't realize how much it would affect his life as an adult. He detailed how one company refused to interview him because of his ears, causing him to reconsider what permanent alterations he made to his appearance. The US Military also does not allow stretched or enlarged ear holes in men or women.

Passionate fans ask for pointed ears
Whether they're inspired by the pointers of Spock or the listeners of wood elves, a rising number of passionate science fiction fans have flocked to the surgeon to alter the shape of their ears, ABC News reported. Although this group only makes up a very small portion of the population, one plastic surgeon warned that this type of operation can lead to serious health detriments, such as severe pain or infection. One man who had the surgery, however, reported that his hearing and focus had both improved due to the animal-like new shape. Patients should be sure to discuss all possible outcomes with board-certified surgeons before opting for a procedure that would radically alter the structure of their ears.