Have you ever felt awkward because of the shape of your ears or the way ears affect your overall personality? If yes, then Otoplasty is a recommended treatment.
Otoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct any deformity of the ear. It helps to change the shape, size and even positioning of the ear.
• Enlarged ears that do not get well with the face proportion.
• Protruding ears
• Deformity of the ear from birth or because of some accident.
• Asymmetrical ears when compared with each other or with the face.
Usually, a candidate should be 18 years of age or more to undergo a cosmetic procedure. But Otoplasty can be performed on anyone with fully developed ears, which means children of age 5 can also opt for this treatment. As at the age of 5 to 7 years, 95 % of the growth of the ear is usually completed and surgery will not deteriorate the growth of the ear in future.
Furthermore, the cartilage of young ones is very soft. This makes it easier for the surgeon to perform the procedure as compared to the ear of an adult, which might require more efforts.
The first step to any surgery is to find a competent/experienced surgeon to perform the procedure. The candidate must choose his/her surgeon after careful consideration based on skills, experience, number of procedures performed and latest results. The Plastic Surgeon must be Board certified as per his country guidelines.
Next, the surgeon will go through the patient’s medical records and analyse the situation thoroughly to finalize the adequate procedure. The candidate should be very clear about the expectations from the surgery so that the doctor can make a perfect plan of action accordingly. Various types of surgeries are designed for individual need of the patients’ deformity.
The expert will advise the patient to follow some guidelines before surgery to prepare his/her body, as below:
• Inform your doctor about any medication you are on and with his advice, you can stop it before going for the surgical procedure.
• Be very upfront about the medical history to avoid any complications.
• Strictly avoid smoking or drinking alcohol for around 2 months prior.
• Prepare with an extra set of clothing to wear after the surgery and make sure they do not hurt the surgical area(s) while wearing.
• If a child is going through surgery, he/she should be mentally prepared and made comfortable with the treatment.
As per the circumstances, the surgeon might opt for one of the following procedures:
1. Ear Pinning Surgery for the protruding ears, which seem too big according to the face. The ears are pinned backwards to give a more natural look.
2. Reconstructive Ear Surgery to correct the shape or size of ear, abnormal or underdeveloped ear, or any deformity of the ear. These defects could be from birth or from an accident.
The process takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete. The Plastic surgeon, with the help of his team, adjusts the cartilage and reshapes the ear by making an incision. Children have softer cartilage, so the reshaping process becomes easier.
The patient might be kept under observation overnight or will be sent home after making sure that everything is normal.
The surgeon will tie a heavy bandage around the ear for protection; this bandage will be removed after a few weeks.
After the treatment, it is extremely important to take care of the following points:
• The first 24 hours after surgery are crucial where the candidate must not apply any pressure onto the operated area. However, slight movement is allowed for the blood circulation.
• Avoid resting/sleeping in the direction of the ears.
• Need to be very careful while bathing or washing the face.
• Do not indulge into any stressful activity for few weeks.
• Proper medication and a healthy diet are essential for efficient recovery.
Regular check-ups with the doctor are mandatory. The patient can return to the daily life and start doing normal activities after 7–8 days.He/she may be needed to wear a compression garment on ears to support the repaired ears for 6 weeks. Thus, by going through all the precautions and instructions carefully, you can enjoy the long-lasting results of Otoplasty.
The information is being provided by CosmeticSurgery.in and have no intention to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor directly for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed by Dr. Ashutosh Shah, Plastic Surgeon on: 12-JUN-2020