Otoplasty also called cosmetic ear surgery simply means the use of surgery to change the shape, position or size of the pinna or outer ear. The goal might be to correct any forms of deformity or to improve the physical appearance of the outer ear.
Otoplasty has two main functions: bring prominent ears closer to your head and reduce the size of your big ears. Ear surgery can also be useful for the following conditions:
- Large or protruding ears
- Lop ear (top of the ear folds downward or inward)
- Cupped ear (a small ear)
- Shell ear (no outer curve in the cartilage)
- Large, stretched or torn earlobes
- Earlobes with large creases and wrinkles
- New ears can be built for patients suffering from injuries or other causes.
Is otoplasty for me?
Ideal candidates for otoplasty might be the individuals who feel awkward with their ears and look for the change of their appearance. Although the surgery is most commonly performed in children between the ages of four to fourteen years, this procedure can be very useful for people of all ages. Ears are almost completely bred at age four, and early surgery can prevent the child from being provoked at school. It is also important that you are in good health and have realistic expectations of the outcome of the procedure.
How shall I be prepared for my otoplasty?
Initially, you'll discuss with your plastic surgeon about otoplasty. During your first visit, your plastic surgeon will probably have:
Review your history of illness. Get ready to answer questions about the present and previous medical conditions, especially ear infections. Talk about all the medicines you take or those ones you have taken recently, as well as the operations you had in the past.
Conduct a physical examination. Before taking the decision on the treatment options, examination of your ears, including their location, size, shape, and symmetry will be done by your doctor. The doctor could also photograph your ears for your medical record.
Discuss your expectations. Explain why you demand otoplasty and what you hope for when it comes to physical appearance after the procedure. Ensure that you have a better understanding of the risks, such as possible overcorrection.
Before the otoplasty procedure, you may also need to:
Quit smoking. Smoking reduces the rate at which blood flows to the skin and can hinder the healing process. If you smoke, your doctor recommends smoking cessation before and during recovery.
Avoid certain medicines. You will probably need to avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements that can increase bleeding.
Make arrangement for help during recovery. Make plans for someone who will take you home after surgery and stay with you for the first night of your recovery.
The otoplasty procedure usually lasts for two to three hours and is performed as outpatient treatment. The age of the patient determines the type of anesthesia that will be used. General anesthesia is recommended for younger patients. Local anesthesia and sedatives can be used for older children and adults.
The otoplasty procedure begins with a small incision which is made behind the ear, in a natural crease that connects the ear to the head. Then the cartilage is carved and folded into its new position to achieve the desired look. In other types of otoplasty procedures, the skin is removed, but the cartilage remains in one piece and simply overlaps on itself for a smaller-looking ear.
As soon as the cartilage is carved in the desired shape, the sutures are used to hold the ear in a new position until healing is complete. The bandage then wrapped around the head to secure a new position. In order to achieve a better balance, surgery may be conducted on both ears even if only one has a problem.
RECOVERY from OTOPLASTY
Regardless of ages, patients who undergo otoplasty usually feel normal after a few hours, although there may be a kind of aching on the ear or throb a few days. Available prescription drugs will help you relieve any discomfort.
There is going to be a replacement of the bandage on your head with a surgical dressing that should be worn for about a week and this will be done a few days after the otoplasty procedure. The stitches will be removed within a week. You should be very careful and avoid sleeping on the affected ear the first two weeks after the operation.
After approximately one week after the otoplasty, kids may return to school and adults can go back to work and continue their normal daily activities. Once completely cured, a light scar at the back of the ear will appear. However, due to the strategic positioning of the incision, the scar should be almost imperceptible and usually fade over time.