Doctors Edward Buckingham and Erin Smith offer Otoplasty solutions for patients in Austin & Sunset Valley, TX. Prominent or misshapen ears can be a psychologically challenging experience for the young adult and child, often drawing ridicule from peers. The prominent ear may take several forms, but both result from misshapen cartilage during intrauterine growth. After careful consideration as to the exact anatomical alteration, a surgical procedure known commonly as otoplasty may be undertaken to re-shape the ear cartilage and return the ears to a more natural configuration in relation to the remainder of the face and head. When undertaken at a young age prior to the development of self identification and peer involvement of the elementary years, otoplasty for children is the best choice, most children will forget the experience altogether and never encounter any unfavorable social interactions.
To determine if a patient is a good candidate for this procedure, Dr. Buckingham recommends a private patient consultation.
Otoplasty Before and After Photos
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Dr. Buckingham feels that successful facial plastic surgery results from the development and maintenance of good rapport between the patient, the surgeon, and his staff during the consultation and future appointments. The consultation will include a complete facial analysis to determine the best procedure to bring about the desired results and all questions relating to the patients specific concerns will be addressed.
Prospective patients are encouraged to call the office to schedule an appointment at their earliest convenience.
Why to Choose Buckingham Center
About Dr. Buckingham
- B.B.A. in Accounting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
- Completed his pre-medical coursework achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average at the University of Texas in Austin.
- Received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
- He was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society as a junior medical student and served as the organization’s vice-president and later president.
- Graduating medical school in the top 2% of the class with highest honors, Dr. Buckingham received the Donald Duncan Memorial Scholarship in Anatomy, the Edward Randall Medal for Academic Excellence, and the Merck Manual Award.
- He then performed a general surgery internship and Otolaryngology residency at UTMB and was a nominee for the UTMB overall-outstanding resident.
- Additionally, he served as president of the UTMB House Officer Association and served two years on the Graduate Medical Education Advisory Committee and Executive Committee.
About Dr. Smith
- Dr. Smith completed her undergraduate education at the University of Mississippi with a double major in Biochemistry and Psychology.
- She completed a Masters in Science in Neuroscience from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.
- Received her Medical Degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, where she graduated in the top 5%.
- She then went on to complete a rigorous 5-year Head & Neck Surgery residency program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center where she served as Chair of the Chief Resident Council.
- Also, she was appointed as the resident member of the Facial Plastic and Reconstruction Education Committee for the American Academy of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery Society.
- She treated patients from all over the world and gained expertise in facial paralysis surgery, primary and revision rhinoplasty, face and neck lift, lip lift, eyelid and eyebrow surgery, and skin cancer reconstruction.
- Dr. Smith has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal publications and book chapters and has presented her work at medical meetings across the country.
After your surgery
The day after the otoplasty surgery (ear pinning), the dressing placed around your head will be removed and a new dressing will be applied. You should keep this in place for an additional 48 hours and remove as we instruct you to do so. A dissolvable type of suture has been placed behind the ears. This area will need to be cleaned two to three times per day with Q-Tips and Hydrogen Peroxide. After cleansing with Hydrogen Peroxide, the antibiotic ointment should be applied with a Q-Tip for the first week.
The light elastic headband should be worn post-operatively after the dressing has been removed, for 6 weeks in the evening hours and at night. This is a preventative measure so the ears are not disturbed or traumatized while sleeping. It also aids in assisting the healing process to occur where the ears are positioned. It is very important to your well being that you follow completely all of the instructions given to you by this office. We will check your progress regularly following surgery.
Frequently Asked Otoplasty Questions
Ear surgery, which is medically known as otoplasty, is a procedure that helps to improve the appearance of prominent or misshapen ears. The surgery can place prominent ears closer to the head or reduce the size of large ears. Otoplasty is commonly performed on children between 4 and 14 years of age, though the surgery can also be performed later on in life. When performed at an early age, the surgery can help spare children and young adults the psychological challenges that can be associated with prominent ears.
Otoplasty potential candidates for ear surgery are over the age of four and are in good physical health with realistic expectations for the improvement of large or protruding ears. A private patient consultation with Dr. Buckingham is the best way to determine if otoplasty is right for you.
Ear surgery is primarily performed on children between the ages of 4 and 14, though Otoplasty for adults can be performed later with no problems.
During the consultation for ear surgery, Dr. Buckingham will perform a complete facial analysis to determine the best techniques to achieve your desired results.
Any questions or concerns that you have about the ear surgery procedure or plastic surgery in general will be addressed at this time.
After an ear surgery there may be some throbbing and aching of the ears for the first few days. Medication will be prescribed in order to relieve any discomfort.
Dr. Buckingham may perform your ear surgery in an outpatient surgical center.
The different types of anesthesia that are used during ear surgery often vary by age. General anesthesia is typically used for younger children, while older children or adults usually receive general or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation.
For the otoplasty procedure, a small incision is made in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. This is then reshaped and bent back closer to the head in order to achieve the desired result. Sutures may be used to reshape the ear or hold the ear in place.
A typical ear surgery procedure lasts one and one half hours, though the exact time will depend on the individual case.
Dr. Buckingham typically confines the incisions for ear surgery to the back of the ear, allowing them to be well-concealed and barely visible.
There is a slight scar that is left behind the ear after ear surgery, though it is well concealed and tends to fade throughout the years.
After otoplasty, the ears heal properly and may be bandaged. Some discomfort, throbbing or aching of the ears can occur during the first few days though this can be alleviated with prescription medication. The bandages are usually removed after a few days and replaced with a lighter headband-like dressing. Some swelling, redness and numbness can also occur.
Work or school can usually be resumed within about five to seven days after the otoplasty surgery.
After an ear surgery, vigorous exercise should be postponed for three weeks. Activities that may involve hitting or bending the ear should be avoided for at least six weeks to prevent damage to the ear.
It depends on what the “normal” ear looks like. If it is truly within normal measurements then surgery can be done on only the protruding ear. If the other ear is protruding also then often times it is better to treat both ears.
There are different deformities in the ears that can be referred to as uneven. If the ears stick out from the head a different amount then an otoplasty can be used to make the ears more even. If one ear is truly lower than the other in where it is attached to the head, that is not correctable.
It is possible to do a revision otoplasty. While fortunately otoplasty procedures are very reliable, we do end up revising, usually other surgeons work, periodically.
No an otoplasty will not affect your hearing, positively or negatively. The external auricle is only responsible for a minuscule amount of the gathering of sound waves to the middle and inner ear. The middle and inner ear are responsible for amplifying the sound to the brain.