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Ear, Cosmetic Surgery (Otoplasty)

WHAT IS OTOPLASTY

Otoplasty is also known as cosmetic ear surgery, and it is the process to change the shape, position, or size of the ears. People might opt to have Otoplasty if they are bothered by how far their ears stick out from their head. People might also consider Otoplasty if the ear or ears are harmed due to an injury or birth defect. Otoplasty could be done at any age after the ears have grown to their full size; it is usually after the period of 5 years — through adulthood. In certain instances, the surgery is done as early as at the age of 3. 

HOW IS OTOPLASTY DONE

Before the Procedure

Otoplasty could be done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility. Occasionally the process is done with sedation and local anesthesia, which anesthetizes only part of the body. In other cases, general anesthesia — which makes people unconscious — might be given before the procedure.

During the Procedure

Otoplasty techniques differ based on what kind of correction is required by the patient. The specific method that the plastic surgeon chooses would settle on the location of the openings and the consequential scars.

The doctor might make incisions:

  • On the backs of the ears

OR

  • Within the inner creases of the ears

After making the cuts, the doctor might eliminate excess cartilage and skin. The doctors would then fold up the cartilage into the proper position and protect it with internal stitches. Additional stitches would be used to seal the incisions. The process usually takes about two hours to get completed.

After the Surgery

After Otoplasty, the ears would be sheltered in bandages for protection and support.

People would possibly feel some uneasiness and itching. To resolve this, they could consume pain medication as recommended by the doctors. If people consume pain medications, and yet the discomfort increases, then people should consult their doctors immediately.

RISKS INVOLVED

Many risks are associated with Otoplasty, and they are:

  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry in the placement of ear
  • Alterations in skin sensation
  • Problems with stitches

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

To keep pressure off the ears, people should avoid sleeping on their side. Also, they should not try to rub or put too much force on the stitches. People should consider wearing button-down shirts or shirts with loose-fitting collars.

A few days after the Otoplasty, the doctors would remove the bandages. The ears would possibly be swollen and red. People would need to wear a loose headband that guards their ears at night for two to six weeks. This would assist them in keeping themselves from pulling their ears forward while rolling over in the bed.

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