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An otoplasty surgeon is one who specializes in plastic surgery procedures for ears. Typically, these procedures focus on correcting ear deformities caused by birth defects or injuries sustained during physical trauma either in childhood or adulthood. Some otoplasty surgeons are plastic surgeons trained in otoplasty procedures. Others are surgeons who specialize in particular areas of the body such as ear, nose, and throat specialists and mouth, jaw, and face specialists. Given the array of ear deformities and injuries, as well as the different types of surgeons available, the kind of otoplasty surgeon a patient sees usually will depend on his particular problem.
Generally, an otoplasty surgeon performs cosmetic ear surgery that alters the appearance of the ears but does not affect the patient’s hearing ability. This means the otoplasty procedure is one of aesthetics rather than medical need. Still, otoplasty has the potential to prevent or alleviate other health concerns. Such concerns include psychological distress due to teasing or paranoia about ear deformities. By performing cosmetic ear surgery, an otoplasty surgeon can correct these deformities and help his patients’ ears resemble ears that have otherwise developed normally.
Some people have cosmetic ear surgery during childhood, as the ears reach complete development, though otoplasty is not uncommon among adults. Therefore, an otoplasty surgeon might see patients of various ages who were either born with ear deformities or who sustained damage during some sort of physical trauma. An otoplasty surgeon will correct various outer ear deformities or injuries using plastic surgery procedures suited for the particular deformity or damage. Setting injuries aside, some of the most common ear problems include additional ear components, missing ear components, and protuberant ears. Consequently, some of the most regularly performed cosmetic ear surgery procedures are ear reduction, ear augmentation, and ear pinning.
A patient can find and develop a relationship with an otoplasty surgeon in much the same ways he would seek the services of any other medical professional. He can look for an ear surgeon on his own, or he can seek referrals from his current physician. Some patients might even obtain referrals from former patients. Regardless of how a patient locates a potential otoplasty surgeon, it is important he makes sure the surgeon is certified to perform otoplasty and has experience with his particular ear problem. Scheduling a consultation and asking about credentials, experience, and even before-and-after pictures can help a patient make a well-informed decision.