Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty that aims to improve appearance and physical functions or to reduce scars resulting from accidents, illnesses or birth defects. The word plastic comes from the Greek word meaning “model”. Otoplasty is the ear surgery performed to resolve large or disproportionate ears and bring them closer to the head.
Who is not a suitable candidate for Otoplasty?
Because the two ears of a person are not identical or completely symmetrical, patients who want to remodel their ears must understand that the intervention will not give them identical or perfect ears. That is why otoplasty is contraindicated to those who do not have realistic expectations or who do not follow the post operative indications.
Patients who have previously developed keloid or hypertrophic scars on the ear or other area of the body need to understand that they can have them after otoplasty surgery. Children who have ear infections should wait for them to be healed before carrying out the surgery.
What types of ears can be corrected by otoplasty?
General types of ear problems:
- “Cup ear,” parts of the external ear develop irregularly, so that the ear comes out
- “Bat ear” when the ear grows perpendicular to the head instead of being parallel to it
- The enlarged ear lobe.;
- “cauliflower ear”, caused by a trauma or inflammation.
- Deformed appearance of the shape, folds or insufficient ear growth;
- “phone ear” – the middle part is closer to the head, the ear has a shape like a phone.
- -Macrotia (too big ears).
- -Microtia (too small ears).;
- – “shell ear” (folds and creases missing).
Consulting a plastic surgeon is the first step. The patient, or when it is the case of a child, parents, will be honest about their expectations and the pre- and postoperative mental state, remembering that the result will be an improvement rather than perfection. The surgeon will explain the factors involved in making the decision for surgery. This will be done after 5 years of age when ear development is almost complete. When dysmorphism is severe, it is recommended that surgery be carried out earlier to avoid emotional stress when the child goes to school. After examining it, the surgeon will explain the details of your case including the surgical technique used, the anesthesia, where the surgery will be performed and what to expect after surgery. Other factors to consider as risks and costs will still be discussed.
Thousands of otoplasties are performed every year. However, you must be prepared for the risks and complications associated with the surgery. Postoperative complications such as infection and hematoma are very rare. Rarely, the ear may return to the initial position, requiring a new intervention. Risks can be minimized by strictly following the instructions given by your surgeon. Because otoplasty is performed on demand, most insurance does not cover the cost of surgery. If the surgery is necessary to correct a severe dystopia of normal development, insurance can cover the costs in full or in part.
– you will perform laboratory tests (blood, urine, ECG, x-rays) required by your physician
– Your physician may prescribe a variety of medicines before;
– quitting smoking is a positive factor;
– you should not take any anti-inflammatory drugs that may increase bleeding (your physician will inform you)
– You will receive a set of instructions for what and how to do on the day of the surgery as well as before and after surgery.
On the day of discharge, you are advised to ask an acquaintance (friend or family member) to help you in the next 24-28 hours.
The decision to have the otoplasty performed is a personal one and you have to choose between the benefits of the intervention and the possible risks that may arise. The surgeon will explain to you what these benefits and risks are.
Otoplasty is performed to create or restore the central fold of a disproportionately large or prominent ear. Extending the procedure depends on the desired changes and why the surgeon thinks it is appropriate. Upon your surgeon’s recommendation, you can be operated in the office or in the surgery room with hospitalization. Otoplasty can be performed with local or general anesthesia that will cause you a deep sleep throughout the surgery. There are several types of intervention for otoplasty.
Using a frequent method, the surgeon performs incisions behind the ear and removes the skin to expose the auricular cartilage and remodel it. In some cases the same result is obtained without sutures, by weakening the cartilage before it is folded, the incisions being then sewn.
After surgery, the ears are covered with a compressive dressing. There is some discomfort and pain that can be controlled with medication. If you have been hospitalized, you will stay for 1-2 days. After a few days, the dressings will be removed. To speed up healing, patients are asked to wear an easy dressing for a few weeks.
The goal of otoplasty is to give your ears a better look and better positioning. Because the incisions are made behind the ears, the scars will be in the retro-auricular cavity and will not be seen. Although you can get up in a day or two, the surgeon will make a gradual recovery program. You will return to work according to how you feel and how quickly you will heal.