The ears play a significant role in complementing other aspects of the face. The shape of the ears can substantially change a person’s overall appearance. Misshapen ears can highly affect a person’s self-esteem and make them very self-conscious about their looks. Luckily, plastic surgeons are able to safely treat a range of ear-related conditions by performing ear surgery. Ear surgery, also called otoplasty in medical terms, alters the size, shape, or positioning of a person’s ears. An otoplasty can be performed for cosmetic reasons as well as for medical reasons.
Candidates for ear surgery are those with an ear deformity or mishaped ears. Otoplasty is a probable solution for ears that need to be reshaped, resized, or repositioned. Both children and adults can be ideal candidates for this surgery. In fact, otoplasty is one of the few plastic surgeries commonly performed on children.
Regardless of whether the surgery is being performed on a child or an adult, candidates/parents should understand and have reasonable expectations about the results of the surgery. Prior to having an ear surgery, it is also necessary to stop smoking and avoid all blood-thinning medicines such as aspirin for at least two weeks in advance.
Ear Surgery Procedure
Because there are several different types of ear deformities, a wide variety of techniques are available to specifically treat each condition. The most common treatment is for the condition which is known as “bat wing ears” where the ears prominently stick out from the head. The surgery is referred to as a pinnaplasty or, in simple terms, ear pinning. In this surgery, an incision is made behind the ears and some skin from the cartilage is removed. The cartilage is molded to its new shape and sutured back. In essence, the surgery “pins” back the ears closer to the sides of the head.
In other forms of ear surgery that involve repositioning or resizing, similar tactics are used. Surgeons will generally place an incision behind the ears or inside the folds of the ears – both of these are very well hidden. Afterwards, the surgeon may remove excess fat or skin, reshape the cartilage with sutures, or cut the cartilage to achieve the desired shape/size. And finally, the incisions will be stitched close.
Otoplasty procedure can either be done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. However, for children, general anesthetic is more commonly used. This is an outpatient procedure and can take about two hours to complete.
The Recovery Process
After the surgery, it is normal for the ears to be covered in bandages which wrap around the ears completely. These bandages are normally worn for about ten days and should not be removed or fiddled with during that time in order to ensure that nothing interferes with the healing process. It is also natural to expect bruising and swelling immediately following the surgery which typically last about two weeks. As a whole, it can take up to six months for everything to go back to normal after which you can really see and appreciate your new ears.
Lastly, it is important to note that during the recovery process, there is more discomfort than pain, although your doctor may recommend certain painkillers. If, however, you find that you are suffering from actual pain, then it is best to return to your doctor to remove the bandages and ensure that there are no complications.
Tips to Assist in the Recovery Process
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Otoplasty is among a wide range of cosmetic surgeries offered at New York’s Premier Plastic Surgery. The surgeons here utilize the best and latest technology and have mastered the art of cosmetic surgeries. If you would like to have corrective surgery for your own ears or for your child, then book your consultation today with New York’s Premier Plastic Surgery.