Are your ears deformed due to an accident or a birth abnormality? Are you dissatisfied with their placement, size, shape, or how much they stick out? If you are self-conscious about your ears as a result of an aesthetic issue, consider ear surgery, also known as otoplasty.
Otoplasty is a type of plastic surgery used to permanently change the appearance of the ears so that they can look more natural and aesthetically appealing.
When Can the Surgery Be Performed?
An otoplasty can be performed once the ears have matured to their full size, typically anytime after age 5. In some cases, toddlers as young as age 3 have undergone the procedure.
What Conditions Can Be Treated?
Usually, the most common reasons why people undergo an otoplasty are:
• Macrotia, a condition where the ear is unusually large
• An ear that juts out too much (This could be the case with one or both your ears. The degree of protrusion between the ears might differ as well.)
• Unsatisfactory results of a prior surgery
Different Types of Otoplasty
Various types of otoplasty can be performed in order to correct the appearance of the ears:
• Ear augmentation – Required if the pinna, or the outer ear, is absent or hasn’t matured completely. The condition is called microtia.
• Otopexy – A procedure to correct ears that stick out. It pulls back the ears to yield a more aesthetically pleasing result.
• Ear reduction – When the pinna is too big, this is a condition known as macrotia. This procedure helps reduce the ear to a more desirable size.
What Does Otoplasty Surgery Entail?
Initially, anesthesia is administered. Adults are usually given intravenous sedation, along with a local anesthetic. Children are given a general anesthetic that keeps them completely unconscious during the procedure.
Once the surgery is complete, which should take anywhere from one to two hours, the ear is protected with a surgical bandage.
What Is the Recovery Period Like?
After the otoplasty procedure, patients will return home and rest. Because of the surgical bandage, patients cannot wash their hair for some days after the surgery.
During a follow-up visit, Dr. Bennett will remove the bandage. After this, the patient will have to wear a loose headband. The reason the headband is important is because wearing it, including when asleep, mitigates the risk of the results being negatively affected.
Bruising should subside in a couple of weeks, while numbness might take a quite a few weeks to dissipate. Soreness, on the other hand, might last for up to a few months.
Patients should avoid swimming for at least eight weeks. Any contact sports or any sports that could result in injury to the ear can only be resumed after three months at the very least.
Get the Ears You Deserve
You deserve ears you can be happy with. To get started with the otoplasty process, you will need to first contact our office for a consultation. Dr. Della Bennett, an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, will meet with you and discuss the surgery in greater detail, along with the recovery process.