It is not surprising that a lot of plastic surgery patients are concerned about how they are going to look after surgery. While some are looking for drastic change in their appearance, most are concerned that they are no longer going to look like themselves. As ear-pinning surgery only affects the ears, there is typically almost no change in their overall appearance other than the distance with which the ears protrude.
The View from Behind
Since the ears sit back on the side of the head, the view from which the most dramatic change seems to take place with otoplasty surgery is often from behind. Many patients with prominent ears wear their hair long to cover up their ears so that the degree of projection is not visible from behind. Unless these patients cut their hair or change their hairstyle so that their ears are no longer covered, no change would be noticeable from behind after surgery. Those with short hair will generally notice a significant change in appearance from behind, which is one of the reasons that many surgeons include pictures taken from behind in their before and after photos.
It is normal for patients who are unsatisfied with a certain part of their appearance to focus on that area almost exclusively when they look in the mirror or at photographs. One of the big changes after surgical correction of the perceived deformity is that they no longer focus on just that one area, which can be a big change on how they view themselves. It is very gratifying to see a patient who 'comes out of their shell' after a relatively minor procedure such as an otoplasty as they no longer view themselves as having a 'deformity.' The change in their self-image and rise in confidence can sometimes be life changing.
Subtle Appearance Change
There are some otoplasty procedures where a significant difference will be created in the appearance of the ears, which would be most noticeable from the sides. This includes removing abnormal folds or contours, recreating missing folds and sometimes removing segments of cartilage because of excessive size or being misshapen. More commonly, the changes are most subtle and, therefore, not really noticed by others unless they were allowed to see the before and after images at the same time. Even close family members often do not noticed when a relative has had an otoplasty.
The best way to get a natural result with the smooth contours that ears normally have is to select the right surgeon. Dr. McMahan has been performing otoplasty surgery since 1990 in Columbus, Ohio with the majority done in his office operating room under local anesthesia. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the Ohio Valley Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, the Columbus Medical Association and other professional medical societies.