Otoplasty is surgery to improve the appearance of a person’s ears. It does not affect hearing but simply corrects misshapen ears due to congenital defects or abnormal forms resulting from injury. It is beneficial to both children and adults.
Since growth of the ears is nearly complete by the age of four, early surgery to correct obviously large or protruding ears can prevent problems which may develop later due to appearance. By bringing balance and proportion to the face, resulting in a more pleasing appearance, ear surgery can boost a patient’s confidence and self-esteem.
The best candidates for Otoplasty are those who:
are generally healthy.
have realistic expectations.
are embarrassed by large or protruding ears.
have torn or stretched earlobes or earlobes with creases and wrinkles.
have ears that lack natural folds or contours.
have suffered serious injury to the ears.
have unusually small ears(cupped ears).
Otoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure carried out under local or general anaesthesia and lasting from one to three hours depending upon the extent of the surgery.
The incision is made on the back of the ear in the crease where the ear joins the head so the scar is nearly invisible upon healing. The cartilage is sculpted or molded into its new shape, then sutured to maintain its new position. The incision is closed and the patient’s head will be wrapped with bandages for a few days to keep the area clean and support the new position of the ears. The bandages with then be replaced with a spandex headband which should be worn for 2-4 weeks.
Although the surgery is performed to correct a problem with the ears, the ultimate goal is to create ears with a more natural appearance.
You will be provided with post-operative care instructions which should be strictly followed to promote optimal healing. Any discomfort such as aching or throbbing of the ears is minimal and can be controlled with medication.
You may experience some numbness in the surgical area for a few months and should avoid sleeping on your side for two weeks following surgery. Many activities can be resumed within the first week. Full recovery takes up to six weeks after which the desired results will be apparent.
Although there are risks associated with any surgery, complications with otoplasty are rare and usually minor. A complication that occurs in a small percentage of patients is a blood clot on the ear. Another is the formation of scar tissue if the cartilage becomes infected. Both of these complications can be treated successfully.