For children and adults alike, cosmetic ear surgery (otoplasty) is an excellent way to correct aesthetically atypical ears, yielding boosted self-confidence that rewards the patient for the rest of their lives.
Cosmetic ear surgery can cost several thousand dollars, and this price normally does not include pre- and post-operative care and medication. Though this may sound like a hefty price tag to prospective patients, most surgeons offer payment plans and other financing options to help cover the cost of otoplasty. Patients should also check their insurance coverage to see if their provider covers the cost of the procedure. Regardless, if you or your child are suffering undue anguish because of self-conscious feelings caused by protruding or deformed ears, the benefits of cosmetic ear surgery can far outweigh the cost of surgery and related treatment. Furthermore, by taking the time to educate yourself about cosmetic ear surgery and research prospective surgeons’ credentials and track records, you can feel more confident about spending the amount of money needed to ensure your otoplasty procedure will give you a lifetime of benefits.
Average Cost of Otoplasty
Cosmetic ear surgery is a highly individualized procedure that calls for different treatment methods from patient to patient. As such, it is difficult to say exactly how much the procedure will cost a prospective patient before they consult a plastic surgeon. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that the average surgeon fee for otoplasty in 2004 was $2,339. When anesthesiology and facility fees are accounted for, the procedure can cost more than $5,000.
Exactly how much your otoplasty surgery will cost depends on several factors, including:
- The surgeon’s experience: A surgeon with elite credentials, a superior reputation and long-standing practice may command a higher price for his or her services than other surgeons with less experience or renown in the cosmetic surgical community.
- Location of the procedure: The cost of plastic surgery procedures varies throughout the United States. There are surgeons offering competitive pricing in other countries as well, though patients must also factor the cost of travel and lodging into their budgets.
- Extent of the surgery: The difference in cost between a simple ear pinning to correct protruding ears, and the cost of correcting a deformed or severely injured ear can be significant because of the amount of treatment involved.
- Pre- and post-operative care: Anesthesia, follow-up appointments and other measures taken to ensure your cosmetic ear surgery is a success all factor into the total cost of the procedure.
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Photo credit: Kovanda Plastic Surgery
Reconstructive Ear Surgery
The most extensive and invasive form of otoplasty is reconstructive ear surgery. As such, it usually costs more than other otoplasty procedures.
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Reconstructive ear surgery is a complex procedure addressing deformation or traumatic injury to the ear. It often involves taking skin and cartilage from other parts of the body to augment a patient’s existing ear structure for the purpose of creating a natural-looking ear. This results in a longer procedure, longer recovery time and a more involved post-operative care. In general, otoplasty insurance coverage will not cover procedures done to correct traumatic injuries to the ear.
Otoplasty and Insurance Coverage
The cost of otoplasty can sometimes be offset by insurance, depending on the reason for the procedure. If ear surgery is performed to correct a congenital deformity or defect in the ears, some providers may offer coverage. When otoplasty insurance coverage is sought, insurance carriers should be contacted as early as possible to find out what they will cover. Patients or their family members should also ask the ear surgeon to write a letter to the insurance company to explain the patient's case. When otoplasty is performed solely for cosmetic reasons, the cost is usually not covered by insurance companies.
The cost of ear pinning or reconstructive ear surgery may seem unaffordable at first; however, there are solutions available. While not everyone may be eligible for otoplasty insurance coverage, many people can be helped by the various ear surgery financing options available.
Find a Facial Plastic Surgeon in Your City
Ear surgery costs can be intimidating for many patients. However, if the appearance of your or your child's ears is causing self-consciousness, this should not discourage you from seeking ways to fund this procedure. Several studies show that cosmetic ear surgery can help relieve children of overwhelming self-consciousness that can result in pronounced introversion, stunting the development of their social skills. Adults can also benefit significantly from cosmetic ear surgery, as their boosted confidence can yield tremendous improvements in their personal and professional lives. If the appearance of your ears or your child’s ears is resulting in decreased self-esteem, but you are concerned about the cost of the procedure, there are many surgeons who are willing to make payment plans that will help make cosmetic ear surgery more affordable. Find a cosmetic ear surgeon in your area and begin the process of having corrective ear surgery today.