Contrary to popular belief, the ears (or pinnae) have very little to do with hearing. For all intents and purposes, they are primarily an aesthetic structure, useful for holding earrings and spectacles. When the ears are aesthetically unpleasing, it can be a result of genetics (appeared this way since birth), injury or aging.
Outstanding Ears (Prominauris)
For patients who have prominent, outstanding ears, life can be tough. The playground can be a cruel place, and children with this affliction can be the target of verbal abuse at the hands of schoolyard bullies. In children, surgery is typically performed at 5-6 years of age, and is covered by OHIP until age 18. Adults can also be affected by outstanding ears, and can undergo the same corrective procedure, but this is not covered by OHIP.
Otoplasty is the technique used to “pin” the ears back to a natural position and restore proper structure and shape to the ears. The old carpentry adage “measure twice, cut once” applies here, as the otoplasty procedure hinges heavily on accurate measurement, and achieving symmetry between the two sides.
With his mathematical engineering mind, Dr. Alexander is a natural at seeing what steps need to be taken to achieve the best result. Dr. Alexander is experienced in both the conventional approach to otoplasty, as well as “Incisionless Otoplasty,” which is performed in selected patients using a very special suture technique; this provides excellent results with faster recovery times. In children, the procedure is performed under general anesthetic, whereas adults can tolerate otoplasty with local anesthesia and mild sedation alone. The results are immediate, and very satisfying.
Torn Earlobe Repair and Earlobe Reductions
Earlobes can undergo various changes over time, whether due to elongation and volume loss with aging, stretching from large and heavy earrings or traumatic tearing of a pierced ear. Dr. Alexander is an expert at various surgical techniques to restore natural shape, contour and youthfulness to the damaged earlobe. These are typically outpatient procedures performed under local anesthesia with virtually no downtime, and immediate results.
In the head and neck, the ear is a common place for keloid (excess scar tissue) development, secondary to a piercing or other trauma; and this can be disturbing for patients as it generates plenty of unwanted attention. Dr. Alexander has many surgical and non-surgical techniques to remove this scar tissue and prevent it from recurring, while restoring the ear to a normal appearance.