Named Among the Best Plastic Surgeons in Boston
Ears normally have a delicate and refined appearance with standard folds and creases. Ears are made of cartilage, which is flexible yet elastic and returns to a specific shape when twisted or pushed. Sometimes ears stick out or are too prominent or too large. Ears can also change over time with the earlobe getting longer or wrinkled with aging or a split from earrings or trauma. As fellowship trained craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgeons, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan have extensive experience in the complete range of ear surgery and have published some of their experiences with the most complicated ear problems.
Experienced Boston Otoplasty Surgeons, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can create the delicate structures and a normal appearing ear with less prominence. The otoplasty procedure is also known as ear setback or ear pinning. There are many otoplasty techniques - Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan will customize a treatment plan and use techniques based on each individual to give the most natural appearing ear.
In addition to being plastic surgeons with fellowship training in facial surgery, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan are also pediatric plastic surgeons and completed additional training to care for children with prominent ears.
Otoplasty is an outpatient operation for children, teens, and most adults. The otoplasty procedure is performed through incisions hidden behind the ear so there is no visible scar. Excess skin is removed and the cartilage is then sculpted and sutured to help create natural appearing folds, less prominence, and improved ear contour. Long-acting numbing medicine provides post-operative comfort, and the incisions are closed with a combination of dissolving sutures and sutures that gently and easily slide out one week later.
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan often work together as a team to perform otoplasty to ensure efficiency and the very best result. The operation takes approximately two hours. Patients recover quickly from the procedure and return home on the same day with limited discomfort. A soft headwrap is worn for 5 to 7 days to reduce swelling and pressure. Although there will be some swelling, the correction and improvement in ear shape is immediate and tremendous.
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan care about your recovery and want to ensure you have a gentle and easy recovery. They will talk to you about when you can expect to return to school or work, activities, and exercise. On average, patients have minimal disruption in normal daily activities, take 5 to 7 days off from work, and take two weeks off from exercise. Most patients benefit from wearing an athletic or fashionable headband at night for a few weeks while sleeping.
Ideal Otoplasty Candidate
WHAT OTOPLASTY DOES
DURATION OF OTOPLASTY RESULT
LENGTH OF OTOPLASTY PROCEDURE
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
Local, Sedation (sleepy) or General Anesthesia (asleep)
TIME OFF SCHOOL OR WORK
TIME OFF ACTIVITIES
Earlobes can split due to trauma, slow migration of earrings, or dilation of earlobes with ear gauges. Recruits for military, police, and other jobs may be required to have dilated earlobes repaired. Fortunately, these changes can be carefully repaired to restore the normal fullness and curve of the earlobe.
Some patients may want to pierce their ears again after they have healed from the procedure - consider waiting several weeks until the earlobe has regained strength and start with a lightweight non-allergenic metal. Earlobe repair is performed gently and requires only local anesthetic in the office. Patients have little or no pain or discomfort and may use Tylenol and Ibuprofen postoperatively if necessary.
There is no disruption to work or school schedule, exercise or activities. The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and requires no bandages or dressings. Sutures are easily removed 7 to 10 days later. For your convenience, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can meet you via telehealth to examine your ears and to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. We can then schedule the ear lobe repair when you are ready.
WHAT EARLOBE REPAIR DOES
DURATION OF EARLOBE REPAIR RESULT
LENGTH OF PROCEDURE
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
Comfortably at home
Sutures removed – 7-10 days
TIME OFF SCHOOL OR WORK
TIME OFF ACTIVITIES
The delicate skin and curving cartilage of the ears can be rebuilt or created. Whether from trauma, skin cancer, Mohs reconstruction, or birth defects, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan have experience with treating simple as well as the most complicated ear problems.
As board-certified plastic surgeons as well as fellowship training in pediatric and craniofacial surgery, they are experienced with using your natural tissues to reconstruct ear tissues. One of the most technically difficult and demanding operations is this example of ear replant, published by Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Taylor in the New England Journal of Medicine. Fewer than fifty successful operations such as this have been reported around the world.
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan successfully restored this woman's ear after a dog bit injury. The ear was reattached using super microsurgery and a high-powered microscope. The leech, seen in the middle image, reduced venous congestion while the body restored blood flow. On the far right, the ear is seen several months later with a normal appearance.
Ear piercings can sometimes develop into large scars, known as a keloid. The scars can grow quite large like a tumor. Ear keloid scars can be treated with steroids and surgical removal. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan use a Dermojet (no needles!) to instill steroids into the keloid. Over time, the keloid can soften and flatten and then be removed to restore the natural appearance of the earlobe. Repeat treatments with steroids can help decrease the chance that a keloid returns.
Heavy earrings, sun exposure, and aging cause collagen and elastin damage, resulting in droopy, saggy, and thin earlobes. Old looking earlobes can betray your age, despite a youthful face or facial rejuvenation with eyelid lift, neck lift or face lift. Earlobe reduction is often combined with other facial procedures to rejuvenate earlobes that become long, wrinkled or deflated with aging. The incision is hidden on the back side of the earlobe to maintain a natural curve without a visible scar. At the same time, the earlobe can be naturally plumped with fat grafting.
Earlobes become deflated and wrinkled with age. A permanent crease can form near the piercing, enlarging the hole and giving the appearance of a split earlobe. To naturally restore volume to sagging earlobes, fat can be harvested by minimally invasive techniques from an undesirable area and transferred to the earlobe. This can be performed with just local anesthesia or a part of a more comprehensive facial rejuvenation in the operating room.
It is important to be seen by Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan after your operation. They will see you in follow-up appointments at 1 week, 3-6 months, and 1 year or as often as needed post-op. Call to schedule your appointments at Taylor & Sullivan Plastic Surgery office at (617) 492-0620 between the hours of 8:30 – 5:00 or visit our webpage at www.massplasticsurgeons.com. We are always available for postoperative concerns or emergencies and can be reached through our paging service 24 hours per day at (617) 492-0620.
Download our Facelift and Neck Lift Aftercare Instructions here.
Call Today 617.492.0620
To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan, please call the office or request an appointment using our form. We welcome your visit and your questions.
300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge, MA 02138